I just finished this book 20 minutes ago, and I find myself in two minds about it. On one hand, it is brilliantly written, engaging, disturbing, involving, heartbreaking and insightful. The prose really is wonderful, the characters so real and imperfect you feel as if you could reach out and touch them, and throughout the whole book there is this air of tension and dread, which although at times unpleasant, was nonetheless gripping. My favourite thing about the book was the relationship between Cassie and Ryan, not your typical hard- nosed detective pairing, and not your usual mystery novel.
However it is that which sets it apart from your bog standard crime thriller which I found to be, while undeniably well crafted, ultimately unfulfilling and disappointing - The Ending, or what feels like a lack there of. (Spoilers) While I was frustrated with Rosalinds evasion of justice, and terribly sad over Cassie and Ryans ruined relationship, I was furious with the lack of resolution of what I see as the original case, Peter and Jamie's disappearance. Unlike some other readers, I don't view this to be background work, but the backbone of the novel. Half the story is left untold, and in my mind, that is unforgivable. Some other readers revel in the open ended, more realistic nature of the ending, but as you have probably guessed I am not one of them! The resolution of Rosalind's story and the doomed partnership between Cassie and Maddox really was great, despite it's sadness and messiness. But I don't buy into this weird high brow notion that by leaving the original story untold, the book is injecting realism, or commenting on human behaviour, or whatever else you can think of. It is not that I need a happy ending, or even a neat one. But I need you to finish telling the story. Don't get me wrong, I still think its a brilliant book. It left me feeling enchanted, intrigued, thrilled, all those good things, but most of all, I am sorry to say, a little cheated.