Trust No One has that ‘book within a book’ vibe to it, so I was excited when we chose it as our February Criminally Good Book Club read.
From the back cover:
Most of the world knows Jerry Grey by his crime writing pseudonym, Henry Cutter – a name that has been keeping readers at the edge of their seats for more than a decade. But now he’s been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of forty-nine, Jerry’s career is coming to an abrupt end.
His twelve books tell stories of brutal murders, of a world out of balance, of victims finding the darkest forms of justice. As his dementia continues to break down the wall between his real life and the lives of the characters, Jerry confesses his most terrible secret: the stories are real. He committed the crimes himself. His family, friends, caretakers insist that it’s all in his head, just a side effect of the devastating disease – but is it?
One of the most talented and trailblazing suspense writers at work today, Edgar-nominated author Paul Cleave takes us down a dark and clever path to determine the fine line between simple fact and dangerous fiction.
This book does indeed contain a ‘book within a book’ – the chapters alternate between Jerry in the present day, living in a care home, and his entries into his ‘Madness Journal’, which he wrote when he was first diagnosed.
I thought this book started of slow but that’s understandable give the type of story it is, it’s a subtle thriller. Interestingly, the pace didn’t pick up at all, there was a slight build-up of tension but, for me, this book seriously lacked in action. It took until I reach page 103 for me to breathe a sigh of relief, I believe my sticky tab read ‘finally something to grab my attention.’ Four pages later, my sticky tab read ‘some much needed humour.’ Sadly, I did not enjoy this book as much as I hoped. It did have some little twists and turns but as the plot didn’t pull me in, I didn’t mind who did or didn’t do what, so no matter the ending, I didn’t mind, I wasn’t invested in the story enough.
What I was invested in, however, was Jerry’s entries into his ‘Madness Journal.’ Jerry, having been recently diagnosed with Dementia, writing to his future self was a fantastic and original concept.
Overall, I can appreciate what Cleaver has created with this book but on the whole, it just didn’t work for me. If you enjoyed Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, I’m confident you’ll enjoy this one too. My concluding thought on this book was – it’s a better version of Elizabeth is Missing.
Here’s the strange thing, while I didn’t enjoy the story, I couldn’t stop reading it, I don’t know if that was due to the writing style, it being a book club read so I wanted to finish it to join in the discussion, or I was hoping for a moment that pulled me into the story – possibly a combination of all three. Either way, it wasn’t a struggle to finish, I wasn’t reading it wishing the story would hurry up and end. It was a rather odd reading experience and I honestly don’t know what to make of it.
On that rather peculiar note, here’s some reviews from fellow book club members (that hopefully make more sense than mine):
Julie – Novel Thrills & Chills
Kourtney – Kourtney’s Bookshelf