In the mood for a mystery? I’m back with my third installment of Mysteries To Devour, although apparently I devour them very slowly given the several months that pass between each update. You can find the first one here, and then three more books here. This post features three of the (very few) books I’ve managed to finish in 2016, which says quite a bit about them already because the amount of reading I’ve done is pretty terrible!
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Starting off with the slightly different one, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is actually a young adult novel told from the perspective of Cadence Sinclair, who grew up spending her summers on a private island owned by her grandparents. Then, in her fifteenth summer on the island, an accident happens. Cadence can’t remember much of that summer. Nobody will tell her what happened, and when she finally returns to the island, everything is different.
We Were Liars is the story of Cadence returning to the island, and unraveling both the past and present. It’s confusing at times, but poetic and honest. There’s definitely an element of suspense although I wasn’t totally shocked by how things turned out, it all fits together in the end. The fact that Cadence’s family is so wealthy isn’t totally relatable (at least to me) and it sometimes makes Cadence not very sympathetic as a character, because of how she treats others. That said, it makes for a good setting and at times, I was reminded of Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty in the way that the island itself was a character.
If you enjoy poetic writing with a hint of mystery I definitely recommend picking up We Were Liars.
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I picked up The Widow by Fiona Barton because it promised a comparison to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train (reviewed here), two dark mysteries I have really enjoyed. Barton’s novel is the story of a women, Jean, whose husband has just died and so she can finally share the truth, the secrets she kept during their marriage.
The Widow is a dark story, but it is much more character-heavy and less thriller-intense than I expected. However, it still managed to keep me turning the pages. Barton explores some very interesting power dynamics between the characters, and it’s definitely one of those books where it’s difficult to know who–if anyone–can be trusted.
Overall, the The Widow was thoughtful and sometimes disturbing but personally, I was still waiting for that real twist(s) that made it a truly satisfying thriller for me instead of an interesting read.
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The book that inspired me to finally write this post was definitely City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong which I just finished yesterday (or, today, as I am writing this post). Honestly, this book was so good that after raving about it on snapchat I knew I had to share it here. I’ve reviewed a few books by Kelley Armstrong on the blog before but what differentiates this novel is it’s actually pure mystery with no paranormal.
In City of the Lost, Casey Duncan leaves her life as a police detective behind to move up north with her friend Diana after demons of their past reappear. They move to a town where people go to disappear…only it turns out that it’s not so safe up north after all.
As always, Armstrong does an amazing job writing an intense story that I absolutely loved. City of the Lost is one of those mysteries where everything fits together in the end, but I got so swept up in the story I definitely did not see it coming. Of course, a thrilling plot doesn’t mean that the characters are forgotten, and I really loved how tough Casey was. One of the things I love about Armstrong is that she always writes a really strong supporting cast of characters, and that was definitely true in this story as well. Plus, there’s a love interest I couldn’t help rooting for.
Although Armstrong knows how to do an awesome cliffhanger, because City of the Lost was written as a standalone–don’t worry, there’s a sequel, A Darkness Absolute, coming in 2017–I found that the story was especially satisfying on its own. I really think this book got me out of my reading slump! If you’re looking for a fantastic mystery with a satisfying conclusion and great characters, I highly recommend City of the Lost.
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Have you devoured any mysteries lately? I have a few in mind to read next, but I’m always looking for more recommendations!