- Length: 344 pages
- Overall volume of words you don’t hear every day: Low
- My overall rating: 3 out of 5
I finished reading this book late last night, about 2 and a half days after I started it (which is pretty fast for me). It’s 344 pages long, and I found myself unintentionally reading 100+ pages at a time because I was enjoying the story so much.
As you can see from my photo, I got this book in the ‘Bargain’ section of Barnes & Noble— and I’ll admit, I didn’t have the highest of hopes (that section can be pretty hit-or-miss, as I’ve come to learn).
But as I started in on this book, I was happy to see that Sophie Hannah has a great writing style— she’s descriptive without being too descriptive, and I like the way she structures her sentences. I can’t say the same for many other authors today— all too often, I struggle with “getting into” books because the poor writing distracts me so much. That wasn’t the case here, fortunately.
This story follows our narrator, Cara Burrows, a married mother of two from England who treats herself to a 2-week long vacation— away from her family, whom she leaves without warning— at a spa resort in Arizona. While on vacation, Cara crosses paths with a young girl who she comes to find out is Melody Chapa, a well-known murder victim who supposedly died at the hands of her parents 7 years ago. After this, the shit hits the fan…
I thought the overall concept behind the story was interesting—obviously, right? I did buy a copy…
And, for the most part, I thought the storytelling was done pretty well.
But my one complaint has to do with the way the turning points of the story were revealed. There wasn’t much buildup to the unfolding the major plot twists— instead, Sophie Hannah would have different characters figure out what was going on, and then announce their discoveries*. I think that’s a little cheap, and for this reason, I could only give the book 3 stars. I also don’t think I’ll be reading any more novels by Sophie Hannah in the future.