In the exciting new psychological thriller by the Edgar-nominated author of Joe Victim, a famous crime writer struggles to differentiate between his own reality and the frightening plot lines he’s created for the page.
Jerry Grey is known to most of the world by his crime writing pseudonym, Henry Cutter-a name that has been keeping readers at the edge of their seats for more than a decade. Recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of forty-nine, Jerry’s crime writing days are coming to an end. His twelve books tell stories of brutal murders committed by bad men, of a world out of balance, of victims finding the darkest forms of justice. As his dementia begins to break down the wall between his life and the lives of the characters he has created, Jerry confesses his worst secret: The stories are real. He knows this because he committed the crimes. Those close to him, including the nurses at the care home where he now lives, insist that it is all in his head, that his memory is being toyed with and manipulated by his unfortunate disease. But if that were true, then why are so many bad things happening? Why are people dying?
Hailed by critics as a “masterful” (Publishers Weekly) writer who consistently offers “ferocious storytelling that makes you think and feel” (The Listener) and whose fiction evokes “Breaking Bad reworked by the Coen Brothers”(Kirkus Reviews), Paul Cleave takes us down a cleverly twisted path to determine the fine line between an author and his characters, between fact and fiction.
NetGalley gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I really wanted to like this book. I love a good murder, suspense, thriller, and humor novel. This one just fell really short for me.
I had a great grandma who had Alzheimer’s, so I knew what to expect with that aspect of the book. Some of it was really accurate but then other parts just didn’t ring true. Take Jerry’s wife for example. She started off helpful, concerned, and willing to work through the disease with him. But it doesn’t take her long to go from that outlook, to just mad that he can’t remember anything that’s happening. Like it is this huge shock to her. You know that they are going to lose their memories, or mix them up, or just make up whatever they want to believe. With my great grandma it was never anger when she couldn’t remember us, it was sadness.
I liked the idea for the book a lot more than I liked how it was presented. There were so many times that I would have to reread the last couple paragraphs because I realized to late that it had either jumped forward or backwards in time.
It would have been nice to read part of the book from another prospective, then the reader could have seen the real (not the way Jerry saw it) rapid decent into his memory loss. I mean, Jerry had dementia, it was hard to take everything he said or did to heart.
The ending was also just kinda Eh… Nothing super shocking. I had it figured out well before then end. Then the very end didn’t have the happy wrap up I was looking forward to, very disappointing.