Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
Not bad, not great ...
on 5 March 2012
Mike is a tattoo artist with his own shop, haunted by visions of Sid, his girlfriend, who committed suicide. When he hires Debs to take on the piercing and body modification side of things, he starts to live again. Mike doesn't really question it when he receives a request from a customer to incorporate some of the ashes of his beloved, deceased, son as part of the tattoo of a baseball, but when a serial rapist and murderer takes the niece of a friend, Mike has a decision to make.
"A Good and Useful Hurt" seemed like it could be an interesting story and it was recommended for those who appreciated Stieg Larsson, though, having read it, I am now trying to figure out why.
Aric Davis's style of writing, combined with very short (a few pages) chapters make "A Good and Useful Hurt" quick to read. Some of the descriptive passages left me feeling a bit squeamish; a little less detail would have been fine with me, especially when relating the body modification, and the fate of one of the characters near the end. It's not really an original storyline, but it approaches the hunt for a serial killer in an unusual way, as well as exploring the spiritual aspects of tattooing and body modification, in a manner I've not heard mention of before, making this book a curiosity for that alone.
It cannot say why, but this story just didn't appeal to me, despite the promise of the synopsis and the reviews I had managed to find. I read both positive and negative reviews, but I still felt "A Good and Useful Hurt" would be a good choice; however, I put the book down several times, finding myself unable to care about the resolution of the main plotline, or anything else pertaining to the story. I can't say I was bored, just wholly disinterested at times.
The characterisations are a bit flat at times, though perhaps that was the object: to discern a a distance between the main character and his friends, because Mike seemed such a loner really. Personally, I just couldn't connect with any of the characters in the book.
"A Good and Useful Hurt" is not a bad book, nor is it a great book. Aric Davis adds a nice gimmick to a done-to-death genre, but it wasn't enough to grab, and hold my attention; for that reason, I don't think I would recommend it to others. To be honest, I am not sure to whom "A Good and Useful Hurt" would appeal.