I really enjoyed this book. I very much felt like I was with Chris the entire time. Chris is a character in a book that can make you think that this could be you. I give this book five stars because of the poignant fact that Chris could be any one of us. I really enjoyed how the Author brought this story together!
I liked the overall premise of this book, however many parts of it seemed disjointed. It seemed that the author forgot what she was writing about at times and went off to something else, It ended up detracting from the plot line and seeming all over the place. The writing was fairly concrete, however thought that there was a lot of character development missing for Bella. Chris is obviously damaged, but would have liked to see more of the relationship between Chris and Bella to understand the dynamics of their meaning to each other. Thanks for the ARC, Net Galley.
At first I was very disappointed with this book because it is described as a mystery/thriller. I just can't see the book as either. This is an Australian story about the brutal rape and murder of a saintly young woman named Bella. In this small town, Strathdee, everyone knows and loves her. The story is told by her sister, Chris, and later by a reporter from Sydney named May. Chris is a free spirited woman, a barmaid, who is sometimes very hard to understand or like. She makes terrible choices/decisions in her life, sometimes even accepting money for sex. (Note: this book has some rough language and graphic sexuality.). This is not a thriller to me, and when we find out who committed the crime, we really don't care or feel any better. I would say this book is about the loss of a loved one and the unbearable grief of one left behind, the victim's sister, Chris. There are many examples of the unfairness of life, especially for women and men are not seen in a positive role. I think this author has talent, especially her way of expressing the never-ending pain of loss. I can't say that I liked Chris, but I did feel the pain of continuing her life without her beloved sister, Bella. This is a sad story with no happy ending. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review the book.
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle arc of An Isolated Incident.
I chose An Isolated Incident mainly because it was shortlisted for a literary award.
Now, I'm wondering why; I've been told I have high standards in many aspects so my opinion is just my own.
I didn't like An Isolated Incident, minus the title, because it lacked EVERYTHING I look for in a thriller type novel:
1. No suspense
When we find out who the killer is, its not just anti-climatic. It is more of an aside. A side note. It wasn't the point of the novel. There is no mystery.
The book is really about a woman coping with the loss of her sister, the only person she truly loved unconditionally and had a bond with, and dealing with the narrow minded perceptions cast upon her by society for the life she leads.
2. Unlikable characters, especially Chris. I don't care if she wants to Samantha her way through life but she is a weak, sad, desperate woman with no redeeming qualities. The same goes for May, the journalist, dealing with the loss of her married on-again, off-again ex. Both women need to get out of that town and into some therapy to learn how to love themselves.
3. The book is rife with misogynistic characters, adultery, slut shaming, sexism, alcoholism, with light references to the #MeToo movement. I kept waiting for the author to make some empowering comment, to have the main female characters step up to the plate and own up to their mistakes and take back their life, to take control and woman up.
But this never happened. The gross sexism and crude talk continued to swirl around Chris as she mourned her sister and May, trying to write an engaging article about the crime, a crime no one really wants to talk about, because 'stuff like this doesn't happen in a town like theirs' but apparently, lewd and disgusting remarks were still lobbed about like it was commonplace. And it was, in that town.
I'm not sure what the author is trying to say, if anything, but I'm saying this book was disappointing, and boring.
The first half of the story seemed very slow, so l was a little disappointed. That all changed as I got further into the book. The characters became more interesting and I wanted to find the answer to what was so heartbreaking and senseless. This is the first Emily Maguire book I read. I hope he is writing more.
I felt like with this book I just kept waiting for something more to happen. This is probably more to my specific taste in style of genre, but this book felt very slow moving and lacked any sort of...direction.
I thought the main character of Chris and the character May were extremely well written.
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC
AN ISIOLATED INCIDENT by Emily Maguire is a is a great suspense novel. I had never read any of Maguire's novels before but I will be on the hunt to read more from this great author.
First off I want to thank Netgalley and the Pan Macmillan AU publishing company for an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
In the small town of .Strathdee in Australia the body of sweet,young Bella Michaels is found brutally raped and murdered. Turning the whole town on it's head and altering the life of her older sister Chris forever. The novel is told through the first person voice of Chris and through a third person account of Sydney reporter May who is in town to write a story.
Chris' voice is heartbreaking. She is a strong, tough and honest character who never tries to run from who she is. The grief she feels is overwhelming and we feel every bit of it. May is one of the few reporters that is not there .to exploit but is more or less there to write and actual story of Bella and what happened to her.
This wonderful written novel is raw and honest. It talks of what it is like to be a woman. How as women we live in a world where anything like this could happen to any one of us at any time. Women are not afforded the expectation of safety that a man has. Walking down a street after dark is dangerous. Every slowed car or cat call can be an actual threat. The double standard is also a theme throughout the book. If a woman makes the choice to bring a man home she is thought of differently, if she turns you down she is a tease.
I wanted to give this 5 stars but was held back slightly by the ending. Though this was an excellently written novel with strong engaging characters the ending just left me feeling a little bit flat and disappointed. I would say that this is less of a thriller or mystery and more of a character study with a murder at the backdrop. I would definitely recommend this book just know going in that this is not a mystery.
An Isolated Incident wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be - a murder mystery, trying to figure out who killed Bella, Chris's sister.
The characters are introduced and developed and after the first hundred pages I thought, now they'll focus on the murder. This book isn't about finding Bella's murderer. It's about her sister Chris, a disturbed somewhat mental 37-year-old woman who works in a pub, works her magic with cleavage and is a total mess. Her ex-husband left her and has a relationship with another woman (who is pregnant), but he's there for Chris's manic episodes after Bella is found. He's been jailed for assault, smashes in the face of a guy who insults Chris, and Chris adores him.
I understand this book is a portrait of Chris, her desperation, anger, and grieving process, but found it disturbing and depressing. I couldn't put it down, but wanted to - kind of like rubber necking at a fender bender, except more disquieting. I could've done without all the f-bombs - lots and lots and lots - really not necessary. These are strange, strange Aussies and somehow I felt they were trying to make me believe their lives were just the norm (the throw away remark about an uncle molesting a child in the backseat of a car and that it was one of those things you get over, animal torture and killing).
After I figured out where the story was going, I settled in with it some, but never related at all with the character or empathized a bit. I was just glad I don't know anyone even faintly resembling these people and was sad there may be people out there like this.
Oh, and they did find Bella's killer. It wasn't anyone who was mentioned in the book before the sentence at the end saying they had captured him, but that's not a spoiler. That's not what this book is about.
Enjoyable thriller. I like that Chris was a tough streetwise woman totally opposite of her sister Bella who was murder. I won't tell you what happen just going to have to read it yourself but it's worth the read.
In this Australian crime story, 25-year-old Bella Michaels is brutally murdered, leaving the town and her sister wondering how this could have happened. Bella’s sister, Chris works at the local bar, and is a tough, streetwise woman, completely different from her sister. Told through Chris’s first person narrative and the third person narrative of a female journalist covering the crime, this is a look at the aftermath of a brutal crime and how it leaves no one untouched.
I received an answer you just copy in exchange for an honest review
This book was both an enjoyable thriller and a character driven exploration of two women’s inner lives, and was successful at both-no mean feat.