Publication Date: May 8th 2018
Publisher: MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Read Date: May 8th 2018
Genre: Psychological Thriller
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…
Our Kind of Cruelty was psychological thriller focused on the highly crazy obsession and delusional lover. When the blurb said it’s Mike love story, it truly was from all the angle was Mike’s love story that revolved around his life, his psychology and his love narrated from his POV.
Mike Hayes- ‘Placid exterior hides a passionate or subtle nature’ surely defines Mike’s character. He had good and placid face in front of the world but he had disturbing twisted mind. He had bad childhood that had left its impact real deep than he himself realized. He had no empathy, had anger issue and he definitely never learned to respect love or lover and when to let go of them. He was over obsessive and delusional. Easy to say he was highly unlikable, complicated, and strong character but oh my so cleverly created by author. I definitely like the way author represented him throughout the book.
Verity- Bad decision and choices in life can drags you to the worst situation one can ever imagine. That’s what Verity’s life was. There was certainly good qualities about her- clever, caring, confident, and successful, but also had flaws. I said many times that I don’t appreciate weak characters and Verity’s actions made tag her weak.
Yesterday in comments I wrote I don’t think I would able to finish this book by today. I just started it on 7th and I finished only 30% book by late evening and it even surprised me that I was up till 4 this morning and I slept after finishing this book. So you can imagine how addictive this book was.
Book was sectioned in 3 parts without any chapter breaks that initially made me put it down or go slow. But the scenes broken into paragraphs was a big relief.
Part 1: first impression- slow. Writing was great and engaging. This part gave a damn good description of Mike and his life. Though it was slow, it was very important part of the book. It told all about Mike’s life, his childhood and how he brought up by foster parents who gave him good education, and how now he turned out successful rich person. Also gave close look on his relationship with Verity, how it started, how they were together, and how it ended. Within few pages or few scenes I could clearly see there was something wrong with this guy. His narration showed his love in creepy way. He definitely was not reliable nor at any point did I think I believe him. End thought of this section- I couldn’t believe the words that their relationship lasted so long and Verity still wanted to be friends!!
Part 2: It was hard not think all sort of possibility in this part. The book had darkness of its own kind that exuded slowly in twisted and creepy way, specifically in this part, that made it so addictive. I was damn curious to know what Mike will do next and equally sure he was going to do something nasty. I wanted to see what steps Verity will take when that happens. I was so surprised by Mike’s delusions. How he just wanted to believe what he thought was right. His thought were so appalling and disgusting, I was really sick of him and the word ‘crave’ by the end of this section. The more shocking and surprising was Verity didn’t take legal help when I guessed at few points. I felt that either she is fool or was too weak for my liking.
Author twisted and complicated this section mindblowingly. She made me think at certain point that maybe I could have some hope in this delusional character and then next minute he did something unbelievable. She made it so unpredictable that all I thought was wrong and the unpredictability was even more in third section.
Part 3: Damn engaging and so so brilliantly crafted part. I seriously liked that trial session. I couldn’t even imagine it was going to end this way.
This book will definitely make you stop reading at certain point and think over deeply on things that happened in the book. It definitely made me think it’s better not to have lover than to have this kind in life or should be careful with people, they’re not always what they look like.
I feel few things were unbelievable. Don’t rich people have CCTV camera around their house making their home more secure? If they had it would have been drastic change in story. Don’t big houses have a peephole on the door so that they can see before opening a door? I wish they had and character has used it. I might sounds silly but I just couldn’t stop thinking this.
It was really awkward to believe no one has taken any serious steps after his emotional abusive childhood, how everyone was going on with Mike’s words and how it can be so easy for him to convince what he thought was right. Such person is bound to do mistake at certain point. It was all amazing but I was not satisfied with these things I mentioned and with the end.
Overall, it was dark, engaging, cleverly written book with complicated characters. I highly recommend to psychological thriller lover.
Araminta Hall is the author of Everything and Nothing. She has an MA in creative writing and authorship from the University of Sussex, and teaches creative writing at New Writing South in Brighton, where she lives with her husband and three children. Our Kind of Cruelty is her first book published in the United States.
*** Note: I received ARC of this book from the publishers via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to publishers for giving me a chance to read this book. ***
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