The Reunion by Samantha Hayes is my latest ” psychological thriller” read . ( More on this below…. ) . Here’s my review of the book –
Plot Summary :
Claire’s father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her mother is finding it increasingly difficult to run the family farm while taking care of her father . While her mother is seriously considering putting up the place for sale , Claire decides to have a reunion with her gang at the farm one last time. She has a firm belief that revisiting old memories would slowdown the progress of the disease for her father .
But she couldn’t have foreseen that her family and friends would be forced to relive the nightmarish days following the disappearance of her sister Eleanor – this time it’s her friend’s teenaged daughter . Claire couldn’t miss out the jarring similarities between both the disappearances….
I just don’t get the idea of every suspense/thriller being marketed as ” The psychological thriller with a twist that you wouldn’t see coming ” . I guess editors read every suspense/thrillers they’re editing to see if it could be marketed as ” The Next Gone Girl ” or like that tagline I mentioned above which are super-easy click-baits for suspense fanatics like me. If they can’t , they probably ask the writer to sketch a plot with a shocking twist ( doesn’t matter if it is sans logic . . .The reader should not see it coming in any way…. ) .
What several publishers don’t realize is that when you are marketing a book as a psychological thriller , there should be a real psychological element . To begin with , let me start with the definition of the term –
Psychological thriller is a thriller narrative which emphasizes the unstable or delusional psychological states of its characters. [ Wikipedia definition ] .
To put is simply , it should delve deeper into the psyche of the characters – especially the ( most probably ) twisted psyche of the perpetrator .You can probably give me an idea of why (s)he is , the way (s)he is … When you have the victim’s POV you can get an idea of the effect of the crime on the victim’s psyche and how it had affected his / her life .
And secondly , scare us with your shocking twists & your psychologically deranged characters . Few of Agatha Christie’s villains are more shocking than the villains of few of these new age ” psychological thrillers ” . The element of menace is clearly missing in
many of almost all of these books . When you don’t elaborate on the villain’s deranged tendencies , please don’t expect me to be scared by a Mr.Hyde like villian who is shown to be actually the darker side of XYZ in your story . Seriously???
If you are wondering whether this is a rant or a review , it is both .
The narrative was engaging and the characters are well fleshed out . The premise looked good with the setting just right – a family home , a disappearance ( or probably a rehash of an earlier disappearance ?? ) , the darker sides of those close to us ….. And then the twist came – it just left me so disappointed .
I think The Reunion is a book where the last 30 pages was the undoing of the entire book . The ending was a shocker , I concede – just of a different kind though!! Clearly did not see what was coming , else I would not have bothered to finish the book .
Let me know your thoughts on the book if you have already read it…
Rating : 2.5 / 5
If you want some good suspense novels to add to your TBR check out these posts –
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