Everyone loves a good mystery, right? Is there anything more satisfying than figuring it out before the big reveal or do you like to be kept guessing until the end? In case you couldn’t tell, this month the Blogger Book Nook group is discussing crime/thriller novels.
1. Who is your favourite fictional detective and why?
I’m really enjoying Jane Harper’s Aaron Falk (The Dry and Force of Nature). I get emotionally invested so love a series and I’m interested to see where she takes him next. I like a good back story and for the detective to be vulnerable but also reliable.
I’ve yet to read any Sherlock Holmes (but love Elementary – although I’m a tad behind) and I haven’t read any Agatha Christie. I loved watching the adaptations back when I lived with my parents though. We’d always try and figure it out before Poirot or Marple.
2. Do you enjoy being able to solve the mystery in a book before the characters do, or do you like to be kept guessing until the end?
This is a tough one because I’m proud of myself for being able to work it out but also disappointed to call it early. I hate a final twist right at the end though, especially when it feels like it came out of nowhere.
3. Murders, missing people, or heists and thefts: Which do you find most compelling?
I think you can have a good mystery without starting with a murder/body, which is why stories like The Girl on the Train and Force of Nature work so well.
4. What keeps you most engaged in a crime plot? Intriguing characters? Mysterious settings? Or a whole lot of action?
For me a lot of the engagement hangs on the detective. I like to only know what they know and figure it out alongside them. I don’t like it when too much is given away and I prefer a first person narrative.
5. Crime is a popular theme for novels, TV shows and video games: Which is your favourite way of experiencing the genre?
I’ve seen Luke play some interesting video games but I just don’t have the time for them. Books are easier for me because I can fit them into my commute but I also like a good TV show. I’d rather a TV show than a film because it allows more time for the story to develop and to get more emotionally invested. I loved the likes of A Touch of Frost and Inspector Morse.
Now for this month’s review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.
Five students enter detention. Four make it out alive. Who dunnit? Dun dun duuuuuuuun!
It took me a while to get into One of Us is Lying. While I was always eager to figure out who killed Simon, I didn’t find any of the characters particularly likeable. With a title like that, and with the story told from alternating points of view, it’s hard to know who to trust, which is obviously part of the fun. But once I hit the midway point I found myself warming to each character in turn and wanting them all to be innocent.
What I found most interesting about the story was the idea that nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. That and the effect of social media on young people. I’m lucky that social media was just starting to take off when I was in secondary school. I can’t imagine the effect on teenagers today and the impact it will have on Jenson when he grows up.
My only niggle with this book, and with most who dunnits, is the Scooby Doo ending, where everything has to be explained really clearly. I’d rather not have everything handed to me on a plate.
Have you read One of Us is Lying? Did you figure it out?