Mystery/Thriller

Kayla Review NINE PERFECT STRANGERS

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Summary:

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer—or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

My Take:

This is an excellent book written by an excellent writer. There is no denying that. However, 400 pages is about 100 pages too many to tell this story, in my opinion.

I would also argue that it is not a thriller. In fact, I would label it as women’s fiction far before I would label it as thriller. In a good thriller, the plot should be twisted and astounding. In this novel, nothing remotely thrilling happened until about 200 pages in.

There is this annoying trend in the world of psychological thrillers/mysteries in which every author wants to tell a story from multiple points of view. Whereas Moriarty is a master of her craft, and her characters all have distinct voices (although this could have easily been called “five perfect strangers” and been a much more enjoyable read), I really miss books that feature one amazingly well-defined protagonist keeping the reader guessing with a fast-paced plot. I also feel like having multiple viewpoints is a way to cover up that the story isn’t terribly exciting, which was the case with this novel.

Please can we have some more good ole’ detective stories? Don’t try to tell me those don’t sell because they are still what most television crime shows feature.

That said, I’m really looking forward to the Hulu series!

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