Today, I bring you mini reviews for two books I’ve read recently, one I really enjoyed, the other – not so much. They’re also books that I found quite hard to review in great length due to fear of spoilers; so I opted for mini spoiler-free reviews instead.
When We Go Missing by Kristen Twardowski
Once, Alex Gardinier was a successful physical therapist and a happy wife. Now she is trapped in a crumbling hospital room. Seven years ago Alex’s ex-husband, Nathan, was convicted of murdering five girls, and he has been rotting in prison ever since. Except the doctors say that Nathan isn’t in prison. In fact, they don’t believe that he is a criminal at all. According to them, Nathan is a devoted husband who visits her every week. But Alex can’t recall ever seeing him at the hospital, and the last time they met he was holding her hostage on a boat.
Maybe the doctors are right – maybe these memories of his crimes are her own personal delusions – but if they are wrong, then Nathan somehow escaped from prison. If they are wrong, he has trapped Alex in a psychiatric ward.
If they are wrong, he is hunting her sister.
When We Go Missing is a super quick read, the story is told from multiple points of view and it is extremely enjoyable. As the plot moves at a whirlwind pace, we don’t get too much detail and Twardowski doesn’t linger on any one event for too long, but this works well to create a fun read. The plot isn’t too deep, psychologically, despite Alex being in a psychiatric ward.
What I really loved about this book was the multiple points of view this story is narrated from – it never gets confusing, instead, it works to make the pace lightning fast as the chapters aren’t that long and the viewpoints are constantly changing. But mainly I liked that the viewpoints were all female – four (technically three as two are Alex) strong, determined females!
Once you start reading this book, I don’t think it’s that difficult to figure out where the plot is going but nonetheless, this was a fun, ‘light-hearted’ suspense thriller that I really enjoyed!
This book is available from: Amazon UK
*My thanks to the author for providing me with a digital copy of this book*
Shepherd & the Professor by Dan Klefstad
Most people take comfort knowing their family and friends will remember them after they die. For Susan Shepherd, “remembering” is bullshit. She wants an eternal shrine to her sacrifice: a book that never goes out of print. Shepherd served her country in the Gulf War, got shot while serving her community as a cop, raised an ungrateful daughter by herself — and for what? A diagnosis of terminal cancer and she isn’t even fifty. If you were in her shoes, you might agree that nothing short of national perpetual acknowledgement will do. She’s glad you feel that way; she just wrote a memoir and sent a flurry of query letters, hoping a publisher will memorialize her with a best-seller. After hitting Send, she waits not-at-all patiently for an editor to decide if her story will sell enough copies — that is, if her life really mattered.
After reading and enjoying Klefstad’s short story, The Caretaker, I bumped Shepherd & the Professor way up my reading list but sadly, this is not a case of, if you like one, you’ll like the other.
It took a while for me to get into this novel but once I did I found it quite entertaining. Had it been a shorter story, I probably won’t have minded so much, but after a while the plot just became too bizare for my liking. I found it to be too unrealistic, Shepherd’s memoir read like the ‘ramblings of a crazy women’ and for a short amount of time, that’s fine but not for 267 pages! In the beginning it worked because it was a memoir but the bizare-factor wore off to the point where I skim read the last 30% of this novel.
If you like odd, unconventional novels, this may be the one for you, I don’t even know how to categorise this book, that’s the level of odd happenings that occurred. I guess its USP was the entertainment value but I just couldn’t get on board with it.
This book is available from:Amazon UK