Try a Chapter: Mystery/Thrillers #2

Sunday, 18 November 2018

It's my birthday and I can... read the first chapters of mystery/thrillers if I want to.
Honestly, that is all I have wanted this year - a birthday burrito, a cuddle from my trusty penguin sidekick Dave, and an electrifying mystery/thriller that will really get my blood pumping. 
Is there any better way to spend it? 
I think not.

Thoughts: I am honestly, near-immediately hooked. It is a short chapter, but one that really manages to pack one hell of a punch. The writing is incredibly rhythmic and it almost has the style of a fairytale, which perfectly fits in with the fact that the chapter tells of the world from the perspective of a toddler. It has almost a mystical quality that obscures the danger lurking underneath, and it is done so in a way that I can quite easily imagine that a mind of a toddler would adopt in a way of being oblivious to any kind of horror that it may witness.
Thoughts: This novel is written in an incredibly different way from the first, but that does not mean it doesn’t elicit in me the same anticipation. They are very different types of mystery/thriller, but both are ones which I gravity towards. Immediately, when it comes to this one, I immediately understand its comparisons to Riverdale - remember Jughead’s voiceovers? The prologue is immediately evocative of them and honestly, it is a technique in books and films like this one that I really quite enjoy. Primarily, because I feel as though it harks back to the good ol'days of Hitchcockian black-and-white suspense.
Thoughts: Ehhh, this is really not for me, guys. I knew going into it that I was going out on a limb - spy-thrillers? A genre that is not one that I have honestly ever felt about gravitating towards and, even the first few pages of this book illustrated exactly why that is. I would not be able to count on one hand just how many times the narration stopped for a bloody dramatic pause! I mean, seriously??? Let’s be honest, I would never be able to sit through an entire book of them without tearing all of my hair out.

Baby Teeth* (Published as Bad Apple in the UK.. I think?)
Thoughts: Honestly? I am intrigued. I had heard mixed reviews of this one but, so far so good. It has been compared to We Need to Talk About Kevin which, although it is one of my favourite films, I still have yet to read the book, and it is incredibly easy to see why. It mixes violence and childhood innocence, in a way completely different from The Flower Girls - there is no goodness here, just something lurking under the surface that is made all the more horrifying by its unassuming package.
Thoughts: With it having been longlisted for the 2018 iteration of the Man Booker, going into this one I already had extraordinarily high expectations and honestly, it very immediately and very clearly has disappointed them. Even in the first chapter, the characters are coming off as cliche and the writing seems more than a little stilted... which does not bode well for me enjoying this one.

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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