Book Title: Our Kind Of Cruelty
Author: Araminta Hall
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 05/08/18
This is a love story. Mike’s love story.
Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely life, before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.
It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his emails or phone calls.
It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.
It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move he’ll know just when to come to her rescue…
This was a fun read, and I can easily see it being one of the most buzz worthy novels of 2018. I’m clearly in the minority with my middle of the road rating, but please don’t let that cause you to pass this one by. If anything, I think this novel helped me realize that I’m not as compatible with stories told from the male stalker POV as the majority of thriller readers are. If you enjoyed novels such as You by Caroline Kepnes and Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda, I think you’ll really take to this one and fully lose yourself in all of it’s gritty, dark glory.
I don’t want to get into plot specifics, because this is the type of book where getting spoiled on the ending will ruin the entire read for you, as it all hinges on you being surprised along the way. However, I think discussing in the abstract, it’s quite easy to divide this slim book into two sections-part one and part two. Part one is actually the least exciting, and in some ways I guess that’s good, because it caused me to give this a higher rating that I would have the other way around. Part one mostly focuses on our boy Mike’s inner monologue, which means very little dialogue and heavy portions of slow thought processes. In the beginning it helped set the stage for amazing suspense, but after about twenty pages of this I found myself losing engagement, checking my phone, and staring off or daydreaming a time or two.
That said, it turns out all that inner monologue is quite important and vital to part two. Once we arrive here, the story takes off at breakneck speed and I couldn’t put it down. The courtroom scenes were especially scintillating and, while I did initially guess how it would end, I found I was doubting myself at times, which shows how manipulative the author is with her writing. <— And I mean this in the best way; manipulative writing is one of the aspects I value most in a novel.
Overall, I wasn’t blown away, as it’s very similar to a number of books I’ve read before and fairly predictable, but it sure was a fun read regardless. I always enjoy a good book about mentally unstable people and what makes them the way that they are, and this was definitely just that. Readers of mainstream psychological thrillers and current events will thoroughly enjoy Mike’s love story and the implications that a few wrong choices can spur into action. Araminta Hall has proven she can write a compulsive story full of gasps and awes, and I sincerely am looking forward to what she brings next to the table.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy via NetGalley.