An Isolated Incident

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

An Isolated Incident
by Emily Maguire
Trafalgar Square Publishing
Eye Books
General Fiction (Adult) ,  Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 Nov 2018


I am reviewing a copy of An Isolated Incident through Trafalgar Square Publishing and Netgalley:


Bella Micheals is a twenty five year old who was brutally murdered in the town of Strathdee, the community is stunned by her murder and it isn’t long before there is a media storm.


Bella’s beloved older sister, Chris a Barmaid at the local pub is thrown into the eye of the storm.  Her outward easygoing nature conceals a hard won wisdom and street smarts only experience can bring.


I give An Isolated Incident four out of five stars!


Happy Reading!
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Overall good book about the complexities of loss and grief . The characters were believable as they walk this path .
It was a beautifully written and a good book overall
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I was really into this book until about the last 20%. Bella’s murder was intriguing, and I loved both Chris and May as characters. As they both work toward a solution and try to solve what happened to Bella, I grew to care about the characters. The part I didn’t enjoy is when the novel took a supernatural turn toward the end. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it.
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Lots and lots and lots of words in this book but no substance for the story line. I didn’t get into it much.
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Such an interesting angle of grief and how it can overcome a person when they lose someone. 

Chris & May were incredible fabulous characters, that I felt the ending was a little sudden and without the detail it built up to. Overall great read, thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read it in exchange for a review!
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The characters of this book were beautifully developed and complex, and I enjoyed getting to know them. The plot itself was heart wrenching and showed the aftermath of tragedy in a very realistic way. I found the storyline to be a bit dark for my personal tastes, and felt a certain negative opinion from the author towards men as monstrous sexual predators. A good read, but perhaps not my personal cup of tea.
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So here's the thing: when I started the book, the narrative when Chris is speaking/thinking isn't one that I felt super into. I generally don't love authors that include a lot of the local slang, either, since sometimes I feel that takes me out of the story, so the combination of Chris' stilted way of speaking/thinking and then the slang, it just felt like it was going to be a tough one for me to really get into. 

I usually would've DNFed a book like this pretty much immediately, but continued on since it was an ARC and I wanted to be able to give a solid review. In this case, I ended up more or less DNFing anyway, as it quickly becomes apparent that all of the women in this story are involved with married men. Don't get me wrong - I won't put down every book that has a plot with an affair in it, but in this case, it felt super unnecessary and like instead of making it be sex positive for these women, almost felt the opposite. Again, I was skimming, so maybe I just missed it, but that's what I saw.

I didn't love the ending, either.
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Have you ever read a book where you so wanted to finish to see what happens, but know in your heart you wont recommend this book to others as a must read?  Well, this is how An Isolated Incident was for me.  
What I enjoyed about the book was the raw, agonizing, feel the book gave me. The realness that the author was trying to portray hit me right in the gut.  Its a topic about violence against women that could very well (if it hasn't already) happen today.  Thats what I really enjoyed.  I found myself wondering what the heck I would do in this situation. I thought back to real life events that this book made me remember and the hurt I felt during those times. 
The realness was also a flaw I had towards the book.  I almost felt that Maguire was trying to pack way to much in one book.  There was just so much going on that it took away from the characters. I feel I couldn't connect with anyone on a deep level because of all the topics she was trying to pack inside the book.  Because of this I lost my dedication to the book and just wanted to get to the end to see how it ends.  
Like I said I would have a hard time recommending this book to my book friends, but I will say if you looking for a hard, raw, violent read than this one might be for you.

Thank you to NetGalley & Trafalgar Publishing for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I thought this book was well written and the description of characters and emotions were very real. The plot of the story had me hooked but I have to say I was somewhat let down by the ending. Maybe it is just me wanting a climatic discovery in a 'who done it' way. I can understand the author set up the book to be about emotions and feelings around a murder as opposed to an actual thriller of a killer on the loose. I also thought it was extremely sexual. Both of the main characters were involved in provocative behaviors that never really tied into anything. The story was told from May's perspective as a live reenactment of what happened, but then it was told from Chris' perspective as she told it to detectives- this didn't make total sense to me. Maybe it was done like that so she could speak directly to her feelings? While the writing was good, the story left a lot to be desired.
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I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book had me on the edge of my seat the whole time! It was definitely a book that kept you thinking! I would definitely recommend this book to fellow readers. Thank you!
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This is not just another thriller or crime novel. The writing is so strong that you really become engrossed in the story and the characters. It’s difficult to describe a book of a young girl’s murder as beautiful, yet somehow this story is just that. Poignant, strong, beautiful and one that will stay with readers long after they’ve read it.
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DNF - 20%

I really try to give books my best effort but lately it seems as if my patience has run out. If I am not getting any satisfaction from reading a book then what's the point of reading it? I have loads of ARC's to read and only so much time to do it. 

I should also mention I am a mood reader and I was in no mood for this book.

This book was so misogynistic that I wanted throw my kindle at the wall. I know that was what the author was going for but it became infuriating. Not to mention my issues with the two lead women both of whom can't live without a man. Say what? I was hoping to read about strong, independent, take no shit kind of ladies which were not how Chris and May were portrayed at all. In fairness, I did quit early so maybe they grew, evolved, and found some inner strength before the novel ends but I seriously doubt it. 

I went into this expecting a murder mystery set in Australia but that is not at all what this book really is. 

Thank you to NetGalley & Trafalgar Publishing for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review
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I really enjoyed this murder mystery, even though some of the characters were not like able, but I think that is to be expected with a murder. 

I really enjoyed the way the author wrote this novel, a different style than with most mysteries. The book focused more on the murder and how it effected everyone more than actually investigating the crime. I really enjoyed this book very much!
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I enjoyed this very much. The main character was not always lovable but by the end of the book I felt like I understood her. 
What stood out the most to me was how much the author made me hate the journalist. They always seem like slime trying to make a buck off other people's tragedies, and at the beginning when she was just doing her job, I HATED her. Once the story got under her skin and she decided she wanted answers, she became much more likable. I was very impressed with how that played out.
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The author did a great job with this crime novel, as it took a different approach than others.  The author decided to focus on the impact that a murder had than on the investigation of the crime.  I found this to be an interesting approach and it made me love this book even more!
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An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire is a highly recommended novel which focuses on an act of violence against a woman, the grief of losing a loved one, and media scrutiny of crimes against women.

Chris is a barmaid at a local pub in the small town of Strathdee, Australia. When her younger sister Bella is found brutally murdered, not only must Chris deal with her unimaginable grief and persistent questions of why Bella and who would do this, she also has to deal with the media storm that descends on the city. Her ex, Nate, comes to stand by her side as he also mourns Bella. Chris is a tough character who is used to using her assets, so to speak, to get better tips as well as other compensation. The community is silently judging her while upholding the proper, loveliness that was Bella. The whole town is mourning.

Reporters are ascending upon the town and are ruthless. May Norman is a reporter who has just broken up with her married lover and has been sent to Strathdee to cover the murder. She is writing about the crime while missing her lover and thinking about him a lot. Her goal is to get a one-on-one interview with Chris for more inside information to sell a bigger story. 

This is more an examination of the trauma that survivors experience when a loved one is murdered and there are no suspects. While the police investigation is certainly part of the story, the novel is not a murder mystery and does not carefully follow the investigation. Instead, chapters alternate between the points-of-view of Chris and May. The two women reflect upon their lives and what they are going through. Setting the murder aside, it is in many ways a novel of gender inequality and explores what many women encounter at the hands of men. There are also supernatural elements as Chris experiences what she feels is Bella's presence.

The writing is compelling and I wanted to find out what happened to Bella and who the perpetrator was, but the ending was actually a huge let down. The novel does conclude, but it's all rushed, matter-of-fact information.  This is an uneven novel that will hold your attention throughout, but you may feel as I did, dissatisfaction with the ending.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Eye Books.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2018/11/an-isolated-incident.html
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2581429565
https://www.librarything.com/work/17659827/reviews/162036051
https://twitter.com/SheTreadsSoftly/status/1058392298772463616
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Thanks to Netgalley and Eye Books for a copy of the eARC in exchange for a fair review.


Chris knows when the police arrive at her door it isn't a good thing, and since Bella has been missing for a few days Chris knows this means they found her body. Everything that happens after that is a bit of a daze, and Chris more than thankful for ex, Nate who has shown up to support her. 


As the days go past without anyone being arrested, suspicion and gossip begin to grow out of control, but still no one really tells May (the reporter snooping around) the whole truth. Chris is struggling to be in control, but most days she is a hot mess just trying to be normal. It really isn't working and as things get uncovered Chris falls apart even more.


Eventually she begins to suspect everyone, and is barely seeing anyone except her unlikely friendship with May, who has been writing a series of articles covering Bella's death and the investigation.


I thought this would be more a thriller and more of a mystery, but it was more a look at what happens to the family. It is a bit of a slow burn, and I still found it good. It just wasn't quite what I expected. I thought Chris would be finding out who killed her sister, instead the police solved with good old fashioned police work while Chris fell apart and May the reporter tried to keep her afloat. 


So if you are looking for a thriller, this is isn't it. It does solve the mystery but the focus isn't what happened to Bella, but how Chris deals with the aftermath of the murder.
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This book will forever hold a special place in my heart because it's the first ARC I was ever given to review!

This book is good. This book is very good. A murder mystery set in Australia, it's told through the voices of a newspaper reporter and the sister of the victim. The reporter was fine; her chapters were good but the voice that really pulled me in was Chris, the sister of the young woman who was murdered.

I loved reading from Chris's perspective. She's an imperfect person who really doesn't care that you know that about her right off the bat. She does morally questionable things, she doesn't mind using her physical assets to get more tips as a bartender, and she really doesn't care who knows how else she supplements her income. Her life is messy, but her childhood was messier, so she's a success. She's also devoted to protecting her younger sister when things get rocky in their childhood, which is why, when we meet Chris, she is overcome with grief, alternating between depression and rage. She couldn't protect her sister this time.

While I was reading this mystery I got the same feeling that I get when I watch an episode of Dateline. It's chilling, it's harrowing, and you can't look away. It was the perfect book to finish reading on Halloween night. I can't wait to read more by Emily Maguire!
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I am admittedly a prude about sex. I don't naturally gravitate toward books with graphic sex. So part of the reason, this book was not my cup of tea was the take on sex partners and how many there were. If that doesn't bother you, then you may enjoy this book more. I also didn't enjoy the descent into grief. This book was more focused on how a person's life is destroyed when a loved one is violently snatched than on the whodunnit part. I think others will really resonate with the book.
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Bella Michaels was last seen leaving from her job on a Friday evening. Her friends and family are concerned when they can't get in touch with her over the weekend.  They contact the police, but since she is twenty-five years old, they assume she's taken off for the weekend with friends.  Her family and close friends think; differently, her sister Chris refers to her as the "the world's youngest grandma" she's very responsible and would never do anything to worry her family.
Her brutalized body is discovered the following Monday on the side of the road leading out of town.  Strathdee is a small town in Australia,  that's pretty safe, so this murder rocks the community. Everyone seems to know everyone, and they all loved Bella, she was a special young lady that was beautiful, yet extremely kind.  
Her older sister, Chris is utterly unhinged after she has to make the identification of the body and speak with police. Chris is several years older than Bella and works in a local pub, and after her divorce, it's common knowledge that she's taken up with several truckers who have stopped off at the pub while driving through town for a night of fun after work.
Chris is an attractive woman for her age, but she's all heart.   Her ex-husband Mack comes down to help her deal with the death of her sister, Bella. The last thing Chris wants is to deal with all the media; not to mention some of the detectives' innuendo of her free spirit lifestyle compared to Bella's they are as different as night and day.
This case is going nowhere; the media has lost interest and left, Chris is trying to deal with this as best she can.  At first, she goes back to work until she starts suspecting everyone around her as the monster who killed her sister.  Chris finds herself immobilized by this fear that eventually takes over her life.
This is an excellent psychological thriller,  Ms. Maguire pulls you in from the beginning and holds your attention to the very end.   At times it's like the protagonist, Chris is speaking to you the reader directly which made it even more interesting. The way she weaves  Chris's grief and torment it keeps the reader wondering what is fact and fiction. It really does begin to play on your mind.
Disclosure:  I would like to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this e-galley in exchange for my honest opinion, the opinions I expressed above are my own.
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