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Unnatural Ends

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Member Reviews

A really fun read that struck a chord with me. The protagonist, Maya, is horribly unreliable but not in a way that makes the narrative a slog. The antagonist, Frank, is very un-antagonist and his motives are foggy at best. I loved the way the story unraveled piece by piece. RIP Maya's Dad. He was my favorite character and he wasn't even alive when this book started.
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So the stage is set and the three children of Lord Lawrence Linwood of Linwood House are gathered for the reading of the will; his body having been found bludgeoned to death in his study!  The will states that whichever child can solve the murder shall inherit the estate!  However, Alan, Roger and Caroline were all adopted and,as far as they know, not even related by blood!  DI Mowbray is not happy at the thought of having their assistance but the three proceed with their own investigations and reveal  far more about themselves and their history than they thought possible!  Clever and intriguing throughout although the concluding chapters became a little confusing and I found I had more questions than answers!
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I was really excited for this one but it fell flat for me. I didn’t connect with any of the characters so I really had to push myself through to the end. It felt like there was just a lot of going on and I couldn’t keep my attention focussed on it all. 

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I really enjoyed reading Unnatural Ends by Christopher Huang.  This historical fiction book takes readers on an interesting journey through the experiences of three adopted siblings as they come to terms with the death of their demanding father.  Secrets are revealed and truths that bring the siblings closer together are faced.  The end of the book brings an interesting surprise for readers.  I recommend this book to historical mystery readers.  You will enjoy it immensely.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advanced copy.
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A very interesting take on a 'whodunit' murder mystery. I was immediately intrigued by our three main characters and their relationships to each other and their parents. I was invested in their story throughout and I was definitely satisfied with the ending. I also enjiyed the authors' writing style.
However, I felt like the novel could've been shorter, especially since, in my opinion, there was a bit too much time dedicated to the B plot, resulting in the murder mystery to take a backseat for a significant part of the book. Also the parts involving the mother felt a bit too rushed, in compariso with how important they were to the progress of the plot.
I still enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to people that like slowly unfolding mysteries coupled with family drama and dynamics.
Big thanks to NetGalley and Inkshares for allowing me to read an ARC of this book
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This was a new author for me . I never read anything from this author before but for the most part I really liked this book. I thought the whole story was amazing. I honestly didn’t want this book to end. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with on the next book they write. I usually judge a book from the cover because for me it shows if it’s going to be interesting or not and I loved the book
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This is a mystery that slowly unfolds through the eyes and recollections of three adult siblings, all adopted.  They were primarily raised and taught without affection by their scary, domineering father.  The setting of an ages old manor house in desolate Yorkshire adds suspense, with dreary weather supplying atmosphere.  This is a mystery that keeps on giving -- clues, confusion, characters.  I found my guesses of the suspected killer to be systematically dismissed...and the mystery continues to the end.
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This book is a great addition to the long lineage of murder mysteries set on aristocratic English estates. In this case, it is set in the 1920’s and focuses on the three adopted children of the murder victim, Sir Linwood. While a classic setting, the story felt unique and I did not see many of the twists coming. 

The characters could’ve had more depth and dimensionality - they felt quite distant and difficult to get a grasp of (could be by design). It started off a bit slow but picked up around a quarter of the way through where I was steadily interested and then couldn’t put it down for the last quarter. The journey was worth it, though. Agatha Christie lovers, rejoice! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Inkshares for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Linwood Hall is perched above a cliff, overlooking the Yorkshire moors on one side, and towering over the villagers of Linwood Hollow on the other. Today it is spring of 1921, and the house is preparing the austere burial of its master. The three adult children, all adopted, are coming back for the funeral of their Father. Together with Mother, they are instructed about the will: Linwood Hall is to be sold and the proceedings are to be divided into three equals part, meaning the estate will no longer be in the family after countless generations. That is unless Father died of unnatural causes, in which case the whole estate will go to the child who solves the murder.  As father has in fact been brutally murdered, this is the start of an investigation that will delve into the deeply buried secrets of the Linwood family.

  Of course, there is the mystery to be solved, but first and foremost, this book is filleting the psychological repercussions of a dysfunctional family: what does it mean to be adopted, how can a child bounce back from a cruel upbringing without any love or tenderness, how strong are the ties that keep siblings together, how can a husband break his intelligent and independent wife? After reading some contemporary quick and dirty "domestic thrillers", I vowed to avoid the genre entirely for a few years, but here we have a clever and interesting take on the genre. The settings are perfect for a fall read, going back and forth between the dark estate in the moors and the bustling city center of London in the pouring rain, while delving into humans darkest motivations and actions. If I were to point out any flaw, it would be the length of the book, because even when reading very nice prose at a perfect pace, sometimes it is just too long.

  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a different approach to a genre that I thought was largely over its peak.
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Unnatural Ends takes us to a Post WWI England in the 1920s. 

On Linwood Hall we find Alan, Roger, and Caroline Linwood preparing themselves for their adoptive father’s funeral, Sir Lawrence Linwood, who was recently murdered. 
At the testament reading, they are told of their father’s strange last wish: Linwood Hall, along with the rest of the estate will be inherited by the heir that solves his murder.

This book had a really good premise and was a fun read.

I loved the atmosphere of rural North Yorkshire and occasionally it made me long for those simpler times.
The three main characters were easy to like, and it was interesting to see them dig into their pasts, always wondering what they would discover next. Although some chapters could have been spared.
If you are a history buff, you will like the bits of history that are thrown here and there along the book.
The story needs a bit of polishing and sometimes could spare on describing the surrounding environment/buildings. 
I would have loved to know more about Lady Linwood’s past. She seemed such an interesting character and I feel she was underused for the benefit of other characters.
The twist near the end was good, but I would have liked to see things play out differently for one of the characters.

I give this book 4 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. This is an honest review, and all opinions are entirely mine.
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This ARC seemed intriguing and promised Agatha Christie style mystery, I was sold immediately! It’s set in 1920s England, in a Gothic manor, whose lord has been brutally murdered (in his library of all places). Now, to differ from the Clue game, there was no guest called Colonel Mustard in the living room with a chandelier… But there are 3 heirs on a mission to identify the killer.

Alan, Roger and Caroline are young adults with each their own career after the World War (engineer, archeologist and journalist), living far away from their parents but still under the influence of their strict and domineering father. Upon his death they are called to the manor for the funeral, and discover an unusual twist to their father’s will: the bulk of his fortune will go to the first to find who killed their father.

It’s hard to know where to stop in the story summary without spoiling anyone’s fun. It is a good book and has plenty of good ideas, but it also has some flaws. The three heirs have interesting personalities and their own plots and character developments so that’s on the plus side. I liked how the author makes sibling relationships deep and real. The atmosphere and the themes are also interesting. But the pace is uneven, the father’s figure way too black and white, which makes the whole story too unbelievable. And because it was unbelievable, then it becomes just an intellectual puzzle without caring too much about the characters. That’s the reason why I could figure out the solution halfway through. From Goodreads I gather that it’s not due to my exceptional intelligence (I wish 😉), others have guessed it too, even earlier than me.

In short, the book wasn’t bad, but it would have benefitted from a lot more editing and tightening. And the marketing reference to the great Lady Agatha doesn’t do it any favor.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley. I received a free copy of this book for review consideration
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The story build-up was good and sounded eerie. The initial pace was a bit slow but then it picked up. The concept was definitely different. Would recommend to mystery lovers.
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Excellent read!

This story has a lot of twists and turns, and as soon as you think you have it figured out, you realize you're wrong.  The story is not convoluted though and is easy follow. Just enough detail without being burdensome.

Character development is great, and the unique format for describing the important parts from each character's point of view is interesting.

Will definitely look for other works by this author.
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A locked room mystery that meandered a bit.

 It is just post-WWI in the Yorkshire moors and Sir Lawrence Linwood has been found maced to death in his locked-from-the-inside study.  Sir Lawrence ruled ancient Linwood Hall like a feudal overlord and fittingly, the murder weapon is an actual mace. Detective Inspector Mowbray tasks the family solicitor to read Sir Lawrence's will.  Sir Lawrence, thinking ahead, has left his entire estate to whichever adult child identifies his killer.  Will it be the oldest, Adventurer Alan, briefly home from Machu Picchu?  Or will it be Aviator Roger, with his bright young thing fiancee?  Perhaps Thespian Caroline, who has unwillingly returned from fever-bright 1920s Paris.  

The amateur sleuths uncover many secrets. Many, many secrets.  A veritable cornucopia of terrible secrets. It turns out that Sir Lawrence was the worst. Every character and their mother had good reason to bash in Sir Lawrence's face.  I wanted to help. I was glad Sir Lawrence died. 

It takes a while for the plot to build up some steam. The reader has to wade through a lot of backgrounding before the action kicks in. By the end though, I was invested in the travails of the Linwood progeny and hoped they had a good life till the next war started.
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#unaruralends by #christopherhuang is a great mystery/thriller. I really liked the setting and the character development. I’ll be suggesting this title to my friends that like these kinds of books. Thank you to #inkshares and #netgalley for giving me this opportunity to read this title.
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a brilliant psychological mystery

a man is killed and in his will is mentioned that he'll leave his legacy to either of his children who will catch his killer but as they try to untangle the truth they are left wondering whether their father deserved it..

this is a story of a dysfunctional family primarily focused on the children of the family, all of them adults now. since their childhood they have craved and fought for their father's approval. their father is a larger-than-life persona who has dictated their whole life and career and is still present to them from beyond the grave.
despite all this they firmly believe in their father and think highly of him. but trying to solve his murder which was his way of disposing off his legacy, they uncover some uncomfortable truths shining a whole new light on their father making them wonder whether he was a benefactor or a tyrant?

the plot twist wasn't exactly shocking but i loved the other twists and turns the story took.

thank you to netgalley and publisher for the eARC.
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3.5 stars. A very enjoyable mystery that I read in a day.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early peek at the novel. My views are my own.
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Loved this book! Sir Lawrence Linwood has been murdered. His children who are adopted are called back home. The will is read and the person who solves the murder inherits the family fortune. However, as they investigate the murder two things come to light firstly the children’s lives are not what they seem, and there is more to this murder than meets the eye. Brilliant, and such a great twist.
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Thanks to Inkshares, via NetGalley, for this advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.

I almost DNF'd this book when I started it. The first third, till about the funeral of the despicable Sir Lawrence, was slow. I'm not sure if was the overall pacing or the storycrafting that seemed to drag and to be dull.

Once the 3 adult children, survivors of abuse and cruelty (TW/CW), started their own investigations did the book become relatively more interesting. (Also, TW/CW for spousal abuse, drugging people, imprisoning people, racism.)  The plotting is intriguing and led the reader down false paths and faux suspects.

I requested this title due to its premise and that interest held, keeping me curious enough to want to know who the killer was.

My biggest complaints are about the over-use of explaining and the aforementioned pacing. I found this "schooling" and need to describe and rationalize to be distracting and juvenile. I skimmed mightily whenever explanations came up, usually/especially in the clunky and obvious flashbacks. Oh and please ready yourself for lots of references to the weather and the layout of buildings.
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Unnatural Ends is a good mystery, with complicated characters whose motivations you will quickly begin to question as their flaws, weaknesses, and secret backstories are revealed in a quest for understanding following the murder of a family patriarch. A twisting mystery that will try and leave readers guessing at the identity of the true culprit and second-guessing their own conclusions until deep into the novel.  

While clever readers and veteran mystery connoisseurs can probably figure out what is going on and who the true murderer is before the big reveal, I did really enjoy the conclusion of the book and how the characters reacted to elements of their past being uncovered during their hunt for the killer.
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