Once I started reading this book, there was no putting it down. But I can’t figure out whether to classify this as a murder mystery thriller or a book that talks about a very serious, common and close to home issue- alcoholism.
So I’m not going to talk about the murder mystery much, but about the subject that I thought the author wanted to highlight in the book, via the story of a murder mystery- the struggles of dealing with an addiction. I loved how the author has taken this subject from the point of view of the person suffering from it, and she has also explored multiple reasons of how and why a person can go down the route of an addiction.
She has shown all the darkness and social stigma associated to being an addict- in this case an alcohol addict and at the same time, she has tried to make sure not to brand her characters as good or bad, but as a shade of grey. I think she wants the readers to think, about these characters and how we perceive them in real life. She wants us to ask ourselves, do we know who we are? This was the part that I liked about the book so much, because it is a subject that is very personal to me as well. I have someone very close in my family, who has this problem, or should I call it a disease? I know this person since I was a child and I still think of them as one of my idols. This person is intelligent, smart, funny, and very kind. And yet, somehow came under the control of alcohol in the later years of their life. I can see how much this person wants to rid of this habit, but I can also see the helplessness in trying to control it now.
I wish society was kinder to him, and would treat his problem like any other illness such as cancer. Sometimes I wonder if it is genetic and I fear for myself too, since I know the line is a thin one. And it felt like the author was reflecting all my thoughts and giving me more of an insight as to what must be going on in this person’s mind as well, through this book. Just because of this subject, if there was a hard copy of the book, I would keep it and read it aloud to this person, who I love very much. Just to tell him, that I understand and I don’t judge 😦
Coming to the murder mystery element, it starts with a very Jack the Ripper style storyline, but the ending wasn’t what I expected to be- just in terms of the whodunit factor. But overall, I thought the writing was good, simple and fast paced (easy to read for readers like me whose first language is not English:)), and the underlying message was a strong one. Will recommend this if you can deal with the trigger warning of alcoholism.
** I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**