Book Title: Our Kind of Cruelty
Author: Araminta Hall
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Published: May 8th 2018 by MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
This is a love story. Mike’s love story.
Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely life, before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.
It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his emails or phone calls.
It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.
It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move he’ll know just when to come to her rescue…
A spellbinding, darkly twisted novel about desire and obsession, and the complicated lines between truth and perception, Our Kind of Cruelty introduces Araminta Hall, a chilling new voice in psychological suspense.
The story surrounds itself around a very disturbed and dilutional individual. Away from the norm, this novel is not made up of true chapters, but I actually enjoyed this setup which gave a sense of ease when putting it down and picking it up. Especially in my life of chasing a very active toddler around. Made up of three-part over 288 pages, this was a quick and easy read. While I enjoyed the banter more than being trapped in Mike Hayes head with him, it was an interesting premise and I rather enjoy stories told in the first person.
I have read reviews where readers suggest this novel reminded them of Joe from one of my absolute favorite books, YOU… well, I am sorry, but I am in complete disagreement. Aside from the obsessive feel, and of course, this story is told in the first person, I just don’t see it. I don’t believe Michael Hayes lived up to Joseph Goldberg at all. Even with his sociopathic nature, I craved Joe… I did not, however, care much for Mike. I did start this with the expectation of that familiarity, but I am also not upset with the outcome of it not living up to YOU. In truth, that’s a difficult feat to live up to.
As far as the downsides that dropped this bad boy a star for me… for starters, there were times where I felt the writing diverged into far too much, and at times stomach-turning, details that I could have easily gone without and didn’t need to fully paint the picture. Also, the repetitiveness of the word “crave” began to wear thin drawing toward the halfway point. I get it, I totally get it, but I have an issue with things being repeated and that’s probably just me.
Araminta did a great job of making her reader feel for the story’s main character. From the tragedies that make up Mike’s adolescence to his complete instability, it really pulls at your heart and it’s difficult not to feel an array of emotion for/towards him. Mike is obsessive, compulsive, and very unpredictable, which is a recipe for a juicy and enthralling story. I really enjoyed Part III the most. Something about a courtroom drama is always a major win for me. Hmm, I wonder. I do not want to divulge too much as the story really takes off at Part II and all the pieces come together nicely throughout the proceedings that take place in Part III.
Overall, I enjoyed the total mindf*** that Araminta sought out to do with this novel and fully accomplished. This story was told with an underlying message that is not only important but well received. I hope Araminta has plans to give us readers a Cruelty #2 that offers the same story told from Verity’s perspective. I would pick that up in a heartbeat!
Many thanks to Araminta Hall and MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux for the advanced reader’s copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.