A masterfully paced thriller about a reclusive ex–movie star and her famous friends whose spontaneous trip to a private Greek island is upended by a murder ? from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient.
This is a tale of murder.
Or maybe that’s not quite true. At its heart, it’s a love story, isn’t it?
Lana Farrar is a reclusive ex–movie star and one of the most famous women in the world. Every year, she invites her closest friends to escape the English weather and spend Easter on her idyllic private Greek island.
I tell you this because you may think you know this story. You probably read about it at the time ? it caused a real stir in the tabloids, if you remember. It had all the necessary ingredients for a press a celebrity; a private island cut off by the wind…and a murder.
We found ourselves trapped there overnight. Our old friendships concealed hatred and a desire for revenge. What followed was a game of cat and mouse ? a battle of wits, full of twists and turns, building to an unforgettable climax. The night ended in violence and death, as one of us was found murdered.
But who am I?
My name is Elliot Chase, and I’m going to tell you a story unlike any you’ve ever heard.
Synopsis source: Goodreads
Oof. I wanted to like this one. I really did, but I just…didn’t. I received an ARC of this from the publisher, and after opening the “journal” with voice recording, I was creeped out in the best way and couldn’t wait to get started. But it turns out that this is my least favorite of Michaelides’ books.
Reading Tip: If you’re going to read any of his books, start with The Silent Patient, not just because it’s the best but also because if you haven’t read it yet and read this one first, you’ll spoil The Silent Patient in a pretty big way.
The story is told in layers by an unreliable narrator, Elliot. Each new Part of the book adds another layer of detail over the previous layers until the final reveal is made. I admire the effort and skill it takes to do this, but ultimately, I think it kind of backfired for two reasons: it slowed the pacing too much and didn’t allow me to become connected to any of the characters.
I had the hardest time picking this book back up after setting it down, sometimes with weeks between. Even using the short, snappy chapters Michaelides has used previously didn’t move this along any quicker for me. By the time anything really interesting started to happen it was the last third of the book, and even then, the final twist was a bit too OTT in my opinion.
I also didn’t feel anything particularly for any of the characters, not even Elliot, the person telling us the story. Speaking of the narrator, it kept switching back and forth between first, second and third person POVs, and all that jumping around felt sloppy. I wonder if this might be better relayed via audiobook, but I’ll have to see what others say to that since I read a physical copy.
While I did finally get to the point that I was curious how it would all end, in my opinion, it just took too long to get there. Had I not been invested in writing a review for it, I probably would have DNF’d it weeks ago.
Thank you to Celadon Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review.
Until next time,
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