Most helpful critical review
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps I was expecting too much
on 28 March 2014
I absolutely love mysteries. So I expected to love this book.
But I didn't. Perhaps it's because my expectations were too high based on all the buzz for this book. Perhaps it's because I've read thousands of books in my life and a mystery has to be extremely well-written for me to be amazed by it. Perhaps I couldn't enjoy it as, having been in a long-term relationship with an extremely self-absorbed, toxic partner, I had absolutely no interest in experiencing any more of it in my life.
The first half of the novel is somewhat of a mystery. The vanishing of a wife and the consequences of that disappearance are relayed to us through alternating excerpts from the husband's first-person narrative and the wife's diary entries.
But then, halfway through, the mystery is over. We know what happened. And all that's left is just graphic descriptions of horrible things done by horrible people. What a disappointment.
This novel is a deconstruction of the relationship between two extremely self-absorbed people who -- if they could ever manage to be honest enough with a psychiatrist -- would likely be diagnosed with either Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder.
Ultimately, I did not end up caring about either character, and felt that they both got exactly what they deserved. I just felt sorry for the undeserving third character which was going to have to spend a lifetime being subjected to them.
If you like the kind of sordid horror fiction which hits the bestseller lists, or you've not had to deal with sociopaths in your real life, you will probably enjoy this.
But if you're a serious reader of clever and intelligent mysteries, or you find sociopaths tiresome rather than interesting, you may find this as unsatisfying as I did.