Book Review- Where She Went

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Title- Where She Went
Author- B.E. Jones
Published-  March 2017
Genre- Crime, mystery, thriller
Length- 304 pages
Rating- 2.75/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- TV journalist Melanie Black wakes up one morning next to a man she doesn’t recognise. It’s not the first time – but he ignores her even though she’s in his bed. Yet when his wife walks in with a cup of tea he greets her with a smile and to her horror, Melanie comes to realise that no one can see or her hear her – because she is dead.

But has she woken up next to her murderer? And where is her body? Why is she an invisible and uninvited guest in a house she can’t leave; is she tied to this man forever? Is Melanie being punished in some way, or being given a chance to make amends?

As she begins to piece together the last days of her life and circumstances leading up to her own death it becomes clear she has to make a choice: bring her killer to justice, or wreak her own punishment out to the man who murdered her.

Review- I received an ARC of this from the publisher so thank you to them.

This book has a few problems but the one that really bothered me, and is the main reason for the low rating, is the main character’s personality. She (Mel) is a bitch, an absolute bitch. She is also whiny and immature. The wife in this is clearly being abused and Mel is not only unsympathetic, but she blames her and deliberately causes her problems thus putting her in danger, as she knows her husband is a murderer. Only a psychopath does that, and that isn’t what this book is supposed to be about. I find this issue really concerning, Mel’s response to the abuse is not normal for the western world, and it makes me wonder if these are the views of the author, if she is deliberately trying to be controversial, or if she is just a bad writer? This personality issue nearly made me stop reading the book pretty early on, I have never hated a fictional character the way I hate Mel. The personality is actually also a little inconsistent. It’s pretty heavy going for the first half but then softens a little before worsening again. It’s not even as a result of any of the “events” in the book either, it’s just bad writing. The husband’s personality is a little inconsistent too but that’s less obvious.

The structure of the book is also poor in some ways. Early on there is chat about lighting and cameras and things just slipped into the story and I wasn’t sure if they were actually meant to be there, or if it just hadn’t been edited properly yet as I was reading an ARC. When it’s clear that it’s Mel thinking about journalism so you understand why it’s there, it pretty much stops. It’s ridiculous. In terms of structure, another annoying thing is deliberately done. A character is repeatedly mentioned, but who he is is not only unclear but there is deliberate misdirection. The lack of clarity is acknowledged later but in a way that makes it look like the author thinks it’s good. It’s not.

The story is actually a little slow, and too much time is spent on certain things, Mel’s last name for example. No one cares if your name is a colour, adults don’t give it the kind of thought the author seems to think they do. Multiple paragraphs on a very common name and frequent further mentions of it are just annoying. Sometimes the story tries to be a bit deeper, but in an “oh, I should make it more deep” kind of way where things are just thrown in seemingly without much thought. The end is also a massive anti-climax and there is only really partial closure. I wasn’t impressed.

The idea for the book is interesting which is why I haven’t given it an even lower rating, even that though seems like it’s a bit of a rip off of The lovely bones.

Unless you are pro domestic abuse I wouldn’t really recommend this book. It could have been done so much better and been a great book but as it is there are much better books available in the genre.

 

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