it is a truth universally acknowledged that i give all authors three chances to woo me. and whether that’s optimistic or foolish, i don’t know – this practice has redeemed some authors and nailed the coffin lid on others. but i am hereby making an ALL-NEW AMENDMENT to this policy: Iain Reid will get his third chance with me, but i will NOT be buying that third chance in hardcover. EVEN if that hardcover has a pretty face. someone hold me to this, because i am notoriously weak-willed when covers are pretty. remind me that i have read both of his books in a single day and seen their big fat twists coming from a mile away, and i haven’t been able to love him the way people seem to love him, and although this makes me feel sad and left out, i don’t need to be shelling out 28 bucks to feel sad and left out when i am fortunate enough to have access to one of the most robust library systems there is.
don’t get me wrong, i LOVE that someone is trying to be the novelist-version of m night shyamalan because when that rug-ripped-out-from-under-you thing works, there’s nothing more exhilarating. i love the sensation of mental flailing and the “but wait OHHHHHHHHH” that ripples across the brainparts. but when the rug is all
at me, it is somewhat less rewarding. i don’t like figuring things out before the author wants me to know them. and this book is pretty bad at keeping its secrets. it’s like a little kid playing hide-and-seek, unable to suppress their giggles behind the living room curtains.
maybe in some pop cultural deadzone unexposed to either View Spoiler »Westworld « Hide Spoiler or View Spoiler »that Black Mirror episode Be Right Back « Hide Spoiler*, this would be more OMG-making, but i watch ALL THE TEEVEE and the first thing i thought when the ____ (noun) was ____ (verb – past tense) was “oh, so ███████████████. probably”
and here we are.
i don’t dislike Iain Reid – in fact, he has a terrific facility for writing tension and awkwardness and “offness,” which really came through here, and that farmhouse scene in I’m Thinking of Ending Things, even though i didn’t much love the rest of it, was very effective and so so creepy.
so, yeah, i will take him home again, but i’m not going to pay for the pleasure. unless, i mean how pretty a cover are we talking?
* this second touchpoint-reference is not reveal-spoilering, it is more What the Book is About, but the publisher-supplied synopsis is pretty detail-light, so i figured better safe than spoilery.