Helllllo readers. This is my first review back which feels first incredible but secondly terrifying. Have I forgotten how to review? Hopefully not. Before we start, just wanted to point out a couple of things! I’m going to be changing up a lot of my blog. Firstly there is only going to be one review a week – it’s not that I don’t love them, but I think my main burnout out was because I was trying to review TOOOO many books; I will be posting loads cause I love to write but just less reviews. The second is I’ve changed my review thingy about ^ and I’m going to start PROPERLY taking my own photos, so please don’t laugh. Play nice.
When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up and begins to read.
But as she turns the pages she is horrified to realize she is a key character, a main player.
This story will reveal her darkest secret.
A secret she thought no one else knew…
So as the blurb suggests the book follows the life of Catherine Ravenscroft who discovers a novel titled ‘The Perfect Stranger’ on her bedside table. Although she has no idea how it got there she decides to read. Soon enough she realises that the book is not fiction but is instead a recreation of Catherine’s past that describes her VERY WORST NIGHTMARE. As you can imagine, chaos follows.
I guess the first thing to say is, I thought this book would be utterly fantastic. Being an obsessive reader, if a book appeared that spoke of an event I had tried desperately to cover, well – it’s not worth thinking about. The plot unfolds in alternating chapters between Catherine in third person and a character called Stephen Brigstocke who is a retired teacher who speaks in the first person narrative. The tale moves between past and present, and so far the book is pretty good-ish.
However, a couple of chapters in the book really fell to pieces. Firstly none of the characters are likable and actually Catherine is pretty exhausting. Not only is she completely lacking in emotion, but her decisions, her reactions, and her actions are SO FRUSTRATING. All the way through I felt like yelling ‘Dude No.’ I didn’t care about a single character because real people do not behave the way that these characters do. It’s trying desperately to be The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl but it falls so, so, flat.
The writing is stilted and doesn’t create an atmosphere at all and this is partly because the characters are all so bitter. I won’t spoil the plot, but when Catherine’s husband finds out the secret he leaves for a couple of days, (understandable,) but then he returns whilst she’s at work, packs a bag calls a taxi, and just puts her in it and she just goes. They don’t speak, they don’t communicate. It’s just so bloody odd.
The secret is kept well hidden throughout, but as we reach the final corner, the author flunks it. The entirety of the book would have collapsed if two/three characters had just sat down with a cup of coffee and some cake and chatted it out. Yes, I understand that this is the point of a deep dark secret, but honestly, there were so many different points where I felt like crying hysterically with bookish pain, – how was this published? To try to distract from this the author throws in a number of completely implausible sub-plots. Not only do these include characters that I couldn’t stand (so I didn’t care,) they felt lazy and a cover-up.
I felt cheated by this book and I feel cheated by the 5* ratings because there are so many better thrillers out there. It feel like a desperate attempt to create the hype of popular thriller books that are in fashion right not, but this just lacks depth, and care and time. The premise had the chance to be fantastic but this left me raging. Honestly raging. I think if I had been sent this I would have felt a little better but I didn’t – I spent almost £8.00 on a book that left me feeling cheated. Please don’t do the same.
LIIIINKKKKKS (If you really must.)