“There are crimes of passion and crimes of logic. The boundary between them is not clearly defined.”
― Albert Camus
Hi friends, I recently read two crime mystery books that created a unique edgy experience, especially in character study and the cinematic experience that completely absorbed me, as well as discussing certain themes. (Not that they are the best mystery out there trust me I can recognize the problematic elements but the authors managed to give the narratives a fresh feel to them)
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
“Everyone has their own path. The choices they’ve made. How any two people end up in the same place at the same time is a mystery. You get on an elevator with a dozen strangers. You ride a bus, wait in line for the bathroom. It happens every day. To try to predict the places we’ll go and the people we’ll meet would be pointless.”
From that quote, the book shapes up a narrative that was truly refreshing in the mystery genre. I appreciate authors who compose a narrative that is slow character driven in a genre that is oversaturated by the fast plot and shock factor. Sometimes they focus on the plot a little too much. This was cinematic and had real life characters that reflect on their choices and contemplate about life, art, death etc.
On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.
“Life is a series of decisions and reactions. It is the things you do and the things that are done to you.
And then it’s over.”
Expecting a sort of fast-paced thriller I was shocked when I found myself immersed in the lives of these people… The drama that unfolds with each character I met was addictive. The way Noah Hawley leads the reader up to this big reveal was smart, in that each chapter we follow the deceased past lives and the choices they made that led to them ending up on the plane. This was reflective and dare I say well written I wouldn’t even call this a Thriller it’s more like a Drama. Laying discussion on class and “the picturesque perfect suburban family” the length certain family members would go to protect that image and the slow destructive nature of it was so fascinating and the shift in perspectives really helped in exploring that aspect. The dialogue was spot on and he discusses the negative effect of the media and I found it fascinating because the author is the creative mind behind hit TV shows like Fargo, Bones, and Legion. The experience was as I said earlier Cinematic like I was watching a tv show… My only flaw was the ending thinking about it the big reveal was a bit over the top but the overall construction of the story arc and character exploration was refreshing. I highly recommend this if you are looking for a slow character driven mystery
Another Mystery that brings an edge to the genre, Stylistic in format and draws inspiration from the classic horror films.
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Horror
“Just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, you realize you’re standing on another trap door.”
The book follows an investigative journalist who for years has obsessively tried to uncover the life of the world renowned film director Stanlis Cordova (fictional character) and his first investigation into the director’s mysterious dark world wasn’t as successful, it almost ended his career. He’s soon pulled back into the dark world as Cordova’s Daughter commits suicide. We follow him as he slowly tries to uncover the truth behind the apparent “suicide” & the horrors that lie with the Cordova Dynasty.
As I stated earlier, this was also cinematic with the added creepy photographs and multimedia content it really had me on edge. Her approach to this mundane mystery was met with great atmosphere, disturbing settings, and Wiccan taboo topics. What really kept me reading was the Cordova family, the whole dark charismatic lifestyle they portrayed through their films and impact on the entertainment scene was the world wish was real but as we edge closer to uncovering the mystery I felt disjointed.
“Mortal fear is as crucial a thing to our lives as love. It cuts to the core of our being and shows us what we are. Will you step back and cover your eyes? Or will you have the strength to walk to the precipice and look out?”
The book had built this suspense and as with every mystery the ending is vital but for me, it felt a bit flat. It was as if the author didn’t know how to end it. Fellow reader and reviewer had warned me about the ending prior to reading the book so I was prepared but it didn’t totally destroy my enjoyment of the book. The characters were very much their own and didn’t rely on the plot as most mysteries tend to do, they each had a distinctive voice. This is definitely a book that is a hit or miss but I would definitely recommend it just for the immersive experience.
As you can probably tell the endings can be a bit of hit or miss situation but if the characters are developed and have distinct personalities paired with amazing writing I can tolerate it. I will forever be in the mood for a good crime mystery thriller and I am planning on compiling a list of some of my favorite (
look out for that) Have you read both these books or one? Tell me how you found them… or recommend me some mysteries
So until next time stay Bookish 😉