Cover Image: Notes on a Murder

Notes on a Murder

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Member Reviews

I have read a few books by B. P. Walter; A Version Of The Truth which I thought was okay, The Locked Attic which I did not enjoy and The Dinner Party which I LOVED, so I was unsure how I would feel about Notes On A Murder.

Initially, I was intrigued as to where the story was going to go. It's 1997 and 21-year-old Oliver is off to spend his summer in Greece with his parents and older brother. He meets Alastair and develops a summer relationship with him. The two bump into Oliver's father's "business associate", find themselves invited to lunch on his island but are really plunged into a deeper situation.

Oliver flees Greece and two decades later, whilst attending a wellness centre, Alastair shows up. But how? Oliver was sure he was dead.

I understand what Walter wanted to do with this book and it is a very entertaining read but it fell a little short for me. I don't mind a slow burn as long as there are little nuggets for me to pick up on. This felt very slow at the beginning then when the twists were revealed, they were so consecutive with no breathing space.

I also struggled to connect with the characters. I didn't get a chance to understand their personalities and get into their psyches.

As I mentioned, I was entertained. I love a dual timeline and it is clear that Walter is very clever but I wanted a bit more.

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I was initially drawn to this book due to my enjoyment of previous works by the author. Regrettably, this book did not live up to my expectations. It failed to deliver the anticipated thriller experience that I had come to associate with the author's writing. It's a slow start which unfortunately could not keep me gripped.

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**3.5-stars rounded up**

This was wild. It's like The Talented Mr. Ripley meets Hostel and in all the most sinister of ways...

This book first came onto my radar when I started seeing trusted book friends reviewing it favorably. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if I see a friend reading and liking a book, I want to be reading and liking that book!
FOMO is real, so I scurried out and was luckily able to acquire a copy fairly quickly.

I don't want to say anything about the plot or characters. The publisher's synopsis is equally as vague, so you may as well just suck it up and jump in. Notes on a Murder pulled me in from the start. I read the first 1/3 in one sitting. I was so captivated by the narrator of the audiobook, and the way that Walter formatted the story.

There are past and present sections, some cleverly incorporated 2nd-person narrative, and plenty of provocative intrigue to keep you turning pages. I loved the Greek setting and felt like that was really well played out. That backdrop set the perfect tone for this OTT-tale that definitely went places I wasn't expecting.

This got dark. These characters, wow, they surprised me with the lengths they went to in this story. The sinister feel got deeper and faster as it went. It was like a snowball rolling down hill, building momentum, before it finally took out everything in its way at the bottom.

This is the first of Walter's works I've read, but if they are all this disquieting, I will definitely be reading more.
Thank you to the publisher, One More Chapter, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I recommend this one to Readers who enjoy dark, twisted Thrillers.

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Dark and disturbing actions, choices and thoughts define this atmospheric novel with hard-to-like distinctly, noir characters and life-altering moral dilemmas. It has a slow build-up that makes what follows impactful and unexpected. It is a psychological drama with aspects of horror that are unsettling but thought-provoking. It's a compelling read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

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I have really enjoyed BP Walter’s previous writing and was looking forward to reading.this. Unfortunately it didn’t quite hit the mark for me, it felt like two different storylines that didn’t quite fit together - the oppressive parenting in the first half petered out and Argento’s actions in the second half were two different stories which I didn’t feel meshed together. The story also ended too abruptly for me

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Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Where to start...this is about a young man, Oliver who is on vacation in Greece with his parents and older brother Douglas. One day while Oliver is out exploring he meets a young man named Alastair and they start a summer fling. Does Oliver want more than that?

Oliver's parents are constantly arguing and Oliver takes every chance he can to meet up with Alastair to stay away from the family drama. Little does her know he will be entering some drama of his own.....Argento is also in Greece and he happens to be a shady business partner of Oliver;s dad. One night he approaches Oliver and Alistair and invites them to dinner. This dinner turns into a regular weekly meeting and all goes well until one night Argento takes Oliver on a tour of the basement, dark creepy dungeon like and things start to get a little bizarre. Would you follow him down to the basement? Then things start to get a little strange and a proposal is made to Oliver which turn the regular dinners into something a little more sinister......Enjoy!!!!

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Although at times I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book, I really liked it. There were times when I felt a bit disappointed by it - at times it felt anticlimactic - but overall it was a good read. It was dark and twisted and the storyline did surprise me. This book was really easy to read and I got through it quickly. The chapters were the perfect length, and it was hard to put this book down. I really like B P Walter’s books, and I will definitely recommend this one to people!

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There's potential and there's a good idea that takes ages to become part of the plot.
Not my cup of tea
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Each place this book went, I could not have predicted. It’s written in a slightly unconventional way - the narrator’s perspective addressing an initially mysterious “you”, and across 2 timelines. I wasn’t in love with the timeline shift at the beginning , but now I understand why it was important. I’m very curious about what happened to Oliver in those intervening years….

The premise is wholly unrealistic - but somehow it doesn’t matter. After about the first 20% the pacing picks up, and as a thriller you stay on the edge on your seat for the rest of the ride.

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"Notes on a Murder" presents itself as a thrilling mystery, but unfortunately, it falls short of expectations. The biggest issue is how slow it starts. Half the book is just the main characters moaning about being on vacation in Greece, which gets old fast. It's hard to stay interested when nothing much happens for so long. Compounding the issue of pacing is the characterization. Both the main character and his family are portrayed as unlikable, which makes it difficult to empathize or connect with them.

When the story finally begins to gain some momentum, it quickly becomes predictable. The twists and turns that one would expect from a thriller/mystery book are either too obvious or lack the punch to be surprising. And then the main character's decisions and thoughts kinda don't make any sense either. He lacks any real merit which makes it hard to follow the story and truly understand why he did what he did.

So, yeah, "Notes on a Murder" was a bit of a letdown. I was hoping for something gripping and full of surprises, but it turned out to be pretty meh.

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Published by HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter on November 23, 2023

The reader learns two important facts in the early pages of Notes on a Murder. First, twenty years earlier, Oliver drugged a man, rolled his body into a rug, and dumped him into the sea. Second, the man is alive.

In the present, while Oliver is at a wellness center taking a break from his pill addiction, Oliver sees Aaistair, the man he thought he murdered. Intercut with scenes from the present, Oliver narrates a backstory that explains his relationship with Alastair. Oliver is telling this story to Alastair, which seems odd to me since Alastair doesn’t need to be told things he already knows. “It turned out that you were an orphan,” Oliver says. Alastair knows he’s an orphan. Why is Oliver telling him that? Making Alastair the audience of Oliver’s narration struck me as a poor choice.

Oliver met Alastair in Greece, where Oliver was spending the summer with his parents and brother. Alastair picked up Oliver at a bar and they went off to Alastair’s hostel to have sex. Over the course of the summer, Oliver falls in love with Alastair and begins to plan a life with him. Alastair professes similar feelings in a casual way that suggests Alastair is merely having a summer fling.

Oliver might be into Alastair because they are so much alike — both intelligent, handsome blondes who have similar interests. When Alastair suggests that Oliver is essentially having sex with himself, he may be revealing the truth of Oliver’s narcissistic personality.

Oliver and his brother Douglas were concerned that their father was behaving strangely during their stay in Greece. They happened upon their father while he was having a business lunch with Argento and Nita, Argento’s hired companion. Oliver’s father was always secretive about his business dealings and was unhappy that his sons saw him with Argento. We eventually see a snippet of Argento’s relationship with Oliver’s father, but B.P. Walter frustrates the reader by failing to explain how, and to what extent, Oliver’s father was mixed up with Argento.

Douglas is quite taken with Nita when she brings his family a fruit basket. When Oliver and Alastair run into Argento on the beach, he invites them to visit him for dinner at his villa on a nearby island. They make return visits, sometimes with Douglas in tow, fueling Douglas'desire to shag Nita, a desire that is heightened by her habit of swimming in the nude.

Oliver witnesses a murder during his first visit. On repeated visits, he realizes that Argento is a serial killer who believes his victims deserve to die. As the story progresses, Oliver and Alastair each become witnesses to more deaths. Argento works to transform the young men, to persuade them to kill as he has, to take justice into their own hands.

Notes on a Murder is an interesting story told in fluid prose. My inability to buy into the premise prevents me from giving it a full recommendation. The ease with which Oliver decides that murder is justified, simply because Argento tells him that his victims were horrible people (sometimes supported by video evidence), might explain why Oliver felt justified in making his unsuccessful attempt to kill Alastair, but their prompt bonding after Alastair returns from the dead struck me as unlikely.

Argento’s willingness to let strangers in on his secret hobby is beyond unlikely. Walter offers no satisfactory explanation of Alastair’s ability to get away with serial killings. The novel’s ending is no more probable than the plot that precedes it. And since no significant character has any moral compass, I found it difficult to care about the decisions they made. While well written and interesting, the story has too many weaknesses to earn a full recommendation.

RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS

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The download date was unfortunately missed, I would be happy to re-review if it became available again. I have awarded stars for the book cover and description as they both appeal to me. I would be more than happy to re-read and review if a download becomes available. If you would like me to re-review please feel free to contact me at thesecretbookreview@gmail.com or via social media The_secret_bookreview (Instagram) or Secret_bookblog (Twitter). Thank you.

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This was an ok read for me personally. I thought it was fairly well written and connected with the characters overall but I felt the plot let it down a bit as I felt it was a bit underdeveloped with a rushed ending that left me wanting more.

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A major thank you to Harper Collins for granting me access to this arc in exchange for an honest review.

This is not the first of Walter's books that I have read and he is definitely one of my auto-buy authors. I love his writing style and his voice is so apparent in every single one of his narratives.

The storyline was very unique - the premise is not one I have previously encountered and this made me wonder a lot about the way in which the story unfolded as the narrative continued. The way in which the story was told was incredibly dark and the turn of events explored are definitely not for the faint-hearted.

The now and then chapters really encouraged me to read on and it added a new dimension to the narrative and characters.

It was not my most favourite of his, but definitely one for thriller lovers.

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Favorite Quotes:

I open my mouth. Then decide it’s best not to go into it. If there’s one thing life has taught me, it is not to play one’s cards too soon.

Well, I hate to state the obvious, but “gay people” aren’t one homogenous mass who all think the same thing. Maybe you shouldn’t believe everything you read on Twitter. Although at least you said “gay people” and not a bundle of letters.


My Review:

This one kept me guessing to the very end, and oh, how I do love it when that happens. This was my introduction to this twisty scribe. He has conjured a batch of odd and quirky characters who were itchy/scratchy and continually prodded and sparked my curiosity. I will most definitely be coming back for more.

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I've read a few of the author's previous novels and loved The Dinner Guest. I really like the author's slightly detached writing style which for me gives it a creepy edge and I never know what to expect. I enjoyed the dual timeline with the majority of the focus on the events of 20 years earlier. My main issue with the novel was my inability to connect with the unlikeable, spoilt and privileged characters and this made it difficult to completely immerse myself into the novel.
Overall an enjoyable read.
3.5 stars
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC.

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Notes on a Murder follows two timeliness THEN and NOW.
THEN Oliver is on a family holiday in Greece when he meets Alistar, an intriguing summer romance. Together Oliver and Alistar get entangled in a twisted and thrilling secret.

NOW Olivers past is catching up from him and he only has one question: How are you still alive?

I really enjoyed this one for 75% the way through, I thought it was well paced and I enjoyed the drip feed of information from both THEN and NOW perspectives. I thought I connected with the characters enough to care what consequences they faced. However, after the final reveal I believe this one got a bit tedious and I had predicted the connection between Argento and Alistar from the moment we first met him. Nonetheless, i did throughly enjoy the authors work and look forward to delving into more of his published works.
Published: 23rd November 2023! OUT NOW
* I received this as a NetGalley E-Arc in exchange for an honest review*

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It's a cold day in Jersey, which gives solace to my cold heart..

Notes on a Murder

BP Walter, has really broken the mold with this one. After reading The Woman on the Pier, and the The Dinner Guest, I knew my love for Walter would only grow throughout years to come. When Notes on a Murder, hit Netgalley, I knew without a doubt, I NEEDED THIS BOOK.

Little did I know everything this book would do to me....

Im destroyed, in the best way possible.

Dual timelines switch between "then" and "now", dark and twisty, this book is satisfying from start to finish.

What if you could select the fate for someone you perceive as a bad person? An eye for an eye? Vigilantism? Revenge? I guess that is all in the eye of the beholder.

Check out this teaser :

Everyone is capable of murder. Are you?

It started with an invitation to dinner. An evening of good food and good company at a luxury villa. But as the night progresses, the party takes a dark turn.

The host makes you an offer, a party favour he calls it: another guest has committed a heinous crime, you can end their life, stop their terror. He tells you there will be no consequences; do you believe him?

Your decision will change your life. Choose carefully.

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I have read a few books by this author and usually quite enjoy them. The cover is a similar design to B P Walter’s other books which I liked and it fits well with the story. The book was published recently, on 23rd November. Thanks to Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read the book in exchange for a review.

Notes on a Murder follows troubled Oliver on a wellness retreat. He sees someone he was sure he killed twenty years ago on a Greek island and has to confront what happened. The story switches between then and now timelines, but for most of the book it focuses on what happened twenty years earlier. I haven’t read all of this author’s other books, but this one was a bit darker.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like any of the characters and they felt a bit flat to me. I was confused as to why Oliver’s parents treated their children the way they did, I felt like their odd behaviour wasn’t explained.
I liked the idea behind the plot but it didn’t quite work for me. Douglas went home and was never mentioned again, despite him and Oliver being close. I didn’t get why Oliver was ‘chosen’ to go to the island, was it because Argento could blackmail him and his family? It didn’t quite make sense to me, but I didn’t have the time to read much of the book in one sitting and maybe it would have been better if I’d done that. The first half of the book was slow and not much really happened, but it did pick up in the second half.

I didn’t dislike the book, it held my interest, but I thought the ending was quite abrupt. For me, the characters let it down and I thought the plot didn’t quite make sense, but that could just be me. I’ll still read other books by this author and would recommend his books.

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Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter, for this copy to review

Notes on a Murder follows Oliver at 2 times in his life. As a young man home for the summer from university and going to their Greek Villa. And as an adult at a wellness and addiction centre.

Oliver has a whirlwind summer romance with a supposed stranger and is drawn into a dark world by a business acquaintance of his fathers. As the weeks go on Oliver is blackmailed into killing people who have done terrible deeds. Until he ultimately kills the man he loves after seeing evidence of his betrayal

As an adult it seems Oliver has been deeply affected by what he did and now suffers with addiction. He cannot believe his eyes when he sees his old boyfriend who he thought he killed that summer. What follows is a masterpiece in manipulation. Who will survive this time?

I felt the characters were not very likeable and found it difficult to connect to them and it was quite slow in places

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