Our Kind of Cruelty

I picked up an early copy of Araminta Hall’s book, Our Kind of Cruelty, because it’s a thriller, and I thought it would be interesting, and it was.

The story turns the tables a little and focuses on an unstable and damaged man. Mike Hayes was raised by an alcoholic mother until put into the British foster system at 10 years old. With the help of a permanent family, Mike has grown up, gotten high marks in college, and secured a well-paying bakers job. He’s on his way to the top. But his ex-girlfriend, Verity, says’s she wants out. After a falling out, she’s engaged to be married, but Mike believes it’s all an elaborate scheme, part of a game they used to play, leading others in for their own pleasure.

Written in first person, the story reads like a journal at first, and finally like a letter, once they reach he courtroom. And it makes you wonder who is telling the truth, and who is being led on.

Overall, it was an interesting story, with complex, twisted characters. But I don’t think I would use the word thriller to describe the book. The story progressed exactly as expected. The only reason to read to the end was to see if Mike was right or not. I kept hoping there would be something really mind boggling at the end, but I came out disappointed.

That’s not to say it was a bad book, just not truly what I want in a thriller. It was more like looking into the mind of a sick man, interesting, but not astounding.

When it comes out in May, I’ll still recommend it to people who liked The Girl on the Train, The Woman in Cabin 10, and Gone Girl, and doubtless many of them will really enjoy it. But it won’t be a book I carry around and hand to everyone.

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