Published by Faber & Faber on March 1, 2022
Genres: Fiction, General, Romance, Contemporary, Crime
Source: Purchased Book
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'Deliciously ingenious.' Daily Mail 'Keeps you guessing right to the end.' PETER MAY 'Smartly entertaining.' Washington Post ' So beautifully written, so gripping, so perfect. ' SOPHIE HANNAH If you're on the list you're marked for death. The envelope is unremarkable. There is no return address. It contains a single, folded, sheet of white paper. The envelope drops through the mail slot like any other piece of post. But for the nine complete strangers who receive it - each of them recognising just one name, their own, on the enclosed list - it will be the most life altering letter they ever receive. It could also be the last, as one by one, they start to meet their end. What readers are saying: ***** 'It gripped me from start to finish.' ***** 'Prepare to be blown away.' ***** 'Another fast paced edge of your seat masterclass.' ***** 'What an absolutely wild ride.' ***** 'Best Peter Swanson murder mystery I've read.' ***** 'An absolute winner . . . A must read for lovers of a good thriller.'
Nine lives unfortunately didn’t live up to quite what I was expecting.
Initially I enjoyed the premise of the story. However, I don’t know if it was just me, but I very quickly got confused with so many different POV’s. This is also the trouble I have with some fantasy stories. If there are too many characters then I tend to get lost in the plot because I need to remember their different nuances, traits and motivations and I just get jumbled up in a soup of information. Unfortunately, this was the case with Nine Lives despite how fantastically written it was.
The chapters were short which did help keep me engaged in the story, but I do feel that the book was more plot driven than character. I didn’t really get a feel for who each of the characters really were except for the fact that they all happened to appear on the same list as the others. I didn’t know what made them tick, they all seemed to be pretty one dimensional, a massive ick for me in fiction but again, I pushed on because I did want to see who was behind the list and killing off the characters one by one.
So, the characters find themselves on a list of nine names. What connects them? Is it the work of a serial killer or something more random? FBI agent Jessica Winslow is an investigating officer on the case and also one of the names on the list. She along with her team locate and provide protection to the remaining names on the list which, let me tell you proves to be a long-winded affair. Something I’m not sure would be entirely possible considering all you have to go on is a name. I don’t know, I just wasn’t sure that I was buying it at this point.
Man alive, was the ending a monumental let down. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I was expecting some fireworks, some clever and amazing twist that would make the struggle of getting through the story worth it. I just felt flat and a little defeated. The groundwork for the twist came at about 80% of the way through and it was pretty obvious in which direction the story was going. I just think it could’ve been spectacular had it been dotted throughout the book instead of just as it was concluding.
That’s not to say that I won’t give his other books a shot. I enjoyed the writing style, I just think that the execution was lacking for this one and the sheer amount of POV’s that was thrown at the reader made it less of an enjoyable read, for me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter is the Sunday Times and New York Times best selling author of eight novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, The Kind Worth Saving. His books have been translated into over 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.
A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts with his wife and cat.