TW: anxiety, agoraphobia.
I can definitely see why this one is the thriller of the year. It bares several similarities to the writing styles of popular best-selling thrillers such as The Woman in Cabin 10, The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl. One of the popular tropes it displayed was an alcoholic narrator.
Now, I’ve mentioned this in my review for The Woman in Cabin 10 and as a reading progress update for this book, but l’m just so sick, and quite honestly bored out of my mind, with authors utilizing alcohol to create an unreliable narrator. You can dress it up however you like, but for me it’s just a lazy cop-out. There are a plethora of elements you can use to get readers to mistrust the MC such as the character’s traits, personality, background, etc. I don’t see the need for substance abuse to propel the plot.
Moving past that, I figured out several of the so called “twists”, and is it just me or *spoiler ahead* [ do many debut authors use the whole “that person was all a figment of their imagination, because they’re actually long dead” trope? ]
Anyways, the ending wasn’t all that satisfactory for me. I felt like sure it could make sense if you wanted it to, but it seemed anticlimactic and I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s because there were so may directions the novel tried to mislead you in, and the truth wasn’t as shocking as it tried to be?
Overall, the writing was good, the characters were fleshed out (I was genuinely interested in them), but the plot itself disappointed me. I think the representation of agoraphobia was researched well and the illness itself seemed fairly handled as well (although I can’t speak on it ). Lastly, I do want to make it clear that it was an enjoyable read, so I’m definitely interested in reading more from Finn, but it’s also nothing groundbreaking.