I’ve seen this book around but didn’t want to read any reviews ’till I’d gotten a chance to read it. I picked it up based on my friend’s recommendation…I think she said something to the effect of, It’s the best thriller I’ve ever read! And the first thing that entered my mind? MUST. HAVE. BOOK. So with an Amazon gift certificate I bought it.
The book’s about this guy, Rob Ryan (I have it when people have two first names, because then I’m all, Was their name Ryan? Or Rob? Was it Rob Ryan or Ryan Rob? ACK!), who’s two friends were murdered when he was 12. He was found with blood congealed in his shoes, clutching a tree in the woods where the kids normally played but had now gone missing. The kids were never found, so Ryan, er, I mean, Rob is now a detective and no one knows he’s THAT KID who’s friends were killed.
Rob’s partner, Cassie, is super cool, one of those can-hang-with-the-guys kind of girls, so SHE knows he’s THAT KID, because Rob and Cassie are very close, though not doing the deed. Though everyone figures it’s eventually gonna happen.
It just so happens (as it tends to do in a book like this), that a 12-year-old girl is murdered in the same woods where Rob’s little friends went missing, and Rob and Cassie are assigned the case, and while they investigate the case, they’re surreptitiously investigating whether the two cases are in any way related.
This is not your typical thriller…in fact, I think I’d label it a literary thriller as the author is a really good writer, so the book isn’t an edge-of-your-seat kind of thing, but it does move along at a good clip. It’s no John Grisham or DaVinci Code (which I liked! So phtphtphttttttt), but it’s GOOD. It’s a thriller that’s not mind candy but IS mind candy at the same time. Kind of like eating gummy bears. FAT FREE, BABY!
Want to know what Ms. French rocks at? The foreshadowing. The foreshadowing takes the place of any good chase, stalking, or violent scenes. In fact, I’ve been trying to break my habit of reading the ending of a book before I’ve finished the book, but the foreshadowing was like waving a drug in my face and saying, Just this once, come on, you can stop when you want. I COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. So I fell off the wagon and skimmed the end, and I was like SHUT UP, I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS. So I excitedly continued reading, but when I got to the end, I found out that I had come to the wrong conclusions so again I was all SHUT UP, I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS.
I finished the book with eyes wide in disbelief, aching to read the sequel, The Likeness. No doubt I’ll be reading that sooner rather than later.
Ms. French is a masterful storyteller. She’s not loud and abrasive and in-you-face. She’s very subtle and quiet…if you wanted to read this for your book club, you most certainly could. There’s a lot to talk about, with characters that are complex, multi-dimensional wonders that beg for a discussion. Some threads are left to dangle, left to tickle your imagination as you wonder what really happened.
Rating: 88 out of 100