REVIEW: A Secondhand Life, Pamela Crane

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

In a freak collision when she was twelve, Mia Germaine faced death and the loss of her father. A heart transplant from a young murder victim saved her life, but not without a price. Twenty years later, chilling nightmares about an unresolved homicide begin to plague Mia. Compelled by these lost memories, she forms a complicated connection to the victim—the girl killed the night of Mia’s accident—due to a scientific phenomenon called “organ memory.”
Now suffocating beneath the weight of avenging a dead girl and catching a serial killer on the loose dubbed the “Triangle Terror,” Mia must dodge her own demons while unimaginable truths torment her—along with a killer set on making her his next victim. 
As Mia tries to determine if her dreams are clues or disturbing phantasms, uninvited spectres lead her further into danger’s path, costing her the one person who can save her from herself. 

By god, this book was bad. Like, really, really, ridiculously bad.
I am just stunned that this was published - and not even self-published, like a whole hoard of editors and publishers probably read through this and actually liked it. The thought boggles my mind.
There were no filler scenes. Not a single one. Everything happens at lightning speed and nobody, not the heart transplant recipient or the people around her, ever stop and think about the impossibility of her experiencing flashbacks of another person’s death. Her boyfriend, the murder victim’s family, her THERAPIST are all like, “that seems legit, carry on”. I mean, firstly can you imagine any person having that reaction in real life? And secondly, I had to read through each and every explanation of the situation, over and over, with the main character giving the exact same details and them having the exact same reaction.
It was monotonous, exhausting, repetitive.
A Secondhand Life had the plot structure of old fan fictions, you know before everyone got good at writing? Think 2007/2008: where everything is telling instead of showing, the dialogue is wooden and unrealistic, and even the most banal thing is explained in excruciating, unnecessary detail.
It was just bad. So, so bad. I-can’t-even-find-words-to-explain-just-how-bad-it-was bad. I have another Pamela Crane book, The Art of Fear, waiting in the wings and I was excited about it, but honestly, after reading A Secondhand Life, I can’t imagine how this author would ever be able to write a book that is anything other than bad.

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

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