Cover Image: Notes on a Murder

Notes on a Murder

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Member Reviews

Well…… that was weird. I like the past and present story telling and the premise of life and death and deciding who dies in a very sinister and atmospheric backdrop. The characters are fascinating to say the least and compelling in a dark and mysterious way. The storytelling starts slowly and builds to crescendo level which I also liked and there were some surprising twists along the way. Quite unsettling overall in a good way and definitely weird and inventive. Definitely worth a read.

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This book starts with Oliver and his brother Doug was throwing a humongous party, while their parents are off, watching Shakespeare in London. they have no worries about the fact their parents will arrive shortly and they’re also leaving to go to their Greek villa the next morning, something neither brother is happy about. especially because their father hasn’t been himself and has been very secretive and at the very least, it is stressing out there mom who Oliver seems very close with. fast forward to the family or in their villa. The mom has gotten upset because the father has a business meeting in later that day when the boys go out for a walk about they see their father at a local restaurant at said meeting and decide to crash it. this is where Douglas and Oliver meet Argento and his partner sienna. Douglas is immediately attracted to sienna and despite the fact they invite the boys to join them. They’re dad rushes them out of the restaurant and goes right back home with them in tow. The next day Oliver sees Argento again and he invites him to his island. Something Oliver doesn’t feel completely comfortable with but when he keeps seeing him and Siana 11:58 AM around he decide to follow them and when he does he meets a strange guy name Alastair, who he is immediately attracted to this is when Oliver leaves Douglas, to tend to their fighting parents, and stays with his new friend at his hostel but when Alastair and Oliver are on the beach the next day, he sees Argento once again, and he wants again, invite them to the island before Oliver can say anything. Alastair agrees that this is win. Oliver‘s Greek holiday starts the turn into a nightmare. what does he know about Argento and Siena who seem to be just as infatuated with Douglas, who is much younger as he is with her furthermore, what does he know about Alistair? This book is told in duel timelines, and then the second one. Oliver is in his 40s an N a rehab that sounds like no rehab I have ever heard of but either way one day while in the lobby of the rehab he see someone get out of a car and it’s someone he thought had died on the island that summer. I would be lying if I said, I didn’t like BP Walters books, but as far as this one goes, I was glued to every pages but when it was over, there were things left unanswered other things that I thought were side plots that went nowhere, and although it was a really intriguing book that kept me interested, I felt I was left with only part of the book… A great part, but still only part. The good thing is this is an a very long book and I did enjoy it. I just felt like there could have been more. I want to thank the author, the publisher and net galley for my free arc copy. Please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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Oliver has just finished college and goes to Greece with his family (mom, dad, brother) for their annual villa vacation. He's bored and listless until he meets Alistair and they start sleeping together. Then the boys are invited to a private island by a business associate of Oliver's father and are faced with a crazy choice.

I don't quite know what to say about this book. The characters felt very underdeveloped and as such the decisions they made seemed like they came out of nowhere and didn't make a lot of sense. I generally enjoy a dual timeline, but the way the now/then was structured with a twenty-year gap in the story felt disjointed and left too many open questions. I can see why other reviewers enjoyed this book - it was definitely fast-paced and raised some interesting ideas, but it was too all over the place for me to fully enjoy it.

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This is a strange story. Told in two timelines we meet Oliver when he was twenty-one and vacationing with his parents and brother on a Greek island. There he falls for Alastair and begins an affair with him. One day they are invited to the house of a mysterious man. There they get drawn into a darkness they will never escape.

In the second timeline we see Oliver today meeting Alastair again at a hotel. They haven’t seen each other for many years and Oliver thought Alistair was dead. Their affairs start anew but the darkness is still there. And it will not end well.

Somehow I expected something different after reading the blurb. The book starts with Oliver and his brother whining about being on this beautiful island and their luxury house there with their parents. Then we see Oliver falling for Alastair. This is all not very exciting and gripping. There is an atmosphere of foreboding but when they finally go to the diner party it all stays very vague. We never really know what happens in the cellar of the house, we never get to know the real intentions why they are doing what they are doing. This whole thing sounded weird and unbelievable to me. You witness something horrible and then you are suddenly fully into it?? That sounded not plausible to me.

This is my fourth book of the author and I enjoyed the other ones but my rating of them keeps descending. This one was strange, slow and told in a way that would make you want to fall asleep. I never really got what was going on. The characters are all flat. It feels like this was a draft for the real story which was still to be enhanced. Like a book in the making. It is a short book but it felt much longer. It just did not work for me. I hope I will like his next book more.

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Notes on a Murder sounded in the blurb like an interesting thriller that I thought I wouldn't be able to put down.

Sadly, reality teaches me that it was quite easy to put down. Even though the book gets dark and at times even gruesome, I couldn't connect with the characters and thought they were annoying at times. The writing was comfortable, yet did very little to draw me into the story. Sadly, this one wasn't my cup of tea.

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This is a short and fast read about a young man, his friends, and family. The book digs deep into the insecurities, secrets, relationships, and loyalties towards other people. It is also about trust, or the lack of trust. And it is about justice, but whose justice, and who is allowed to judge others, and what is the punishment? This book can be brutal at times. Relationships are hard, but in this book they are messed up, and complex. Even though this is a fast read it is not an easy read due to the subject and the brutality of what goes on. If you like dark, gritty, psychological murder books, this could be the read for you!

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I was initially very excited to read this book, but it fell extremely flat. The story felt like it took ages to get through and was a slow burn.

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My journey with B.P. Walter's books has been a bumpy one. I read and loved his book, The Dinner Guest, however, my next two books by him weren't nearly as successful and one of them I couldn't even bother to finish. So when this popped up on NetGalley I was hesitant. Did it sound good? Yes, but that has lead me astray before. Then I read some really positive reviews for this (I'm looking at you Ceecee! 😍) and decided to take the plunge and I'm glad I did. This book gave me the same vibes as The Dinner Guest. Different stories entirely but both are proper page-turners. Hurray!!!

Oliver is on vacation in Greece with his bickering parents and older brother Douglas. While there he spots a gorgeous man on the beach that he can't stop thinking about. Imagine his surprise when this same man approaches him at the bar the next evening. The two hit it off and before you know it Oliver is head over heels for Alastair. Oliver is continuously trying to remind himself that this is just a summer fling, warning himself not to get too attached, but at the same time knowing his heart is in far too deep for this not to turn messy and heartbreaking.

A shady business associate of Oliver's father is also vacationing there. His name is Argento and he approaches both Oliver and Alistair and invites them to dinner. Oliver can sense that something is off but can't quite put his finger on what it is that's bothering him. Argento makes it clear that he would like to continue having a friendship with them by having them over to his villa every Saturday evening for dinner and drinks and maybe, just maybe, something much more darker than either young man is prepared for.

After all, everyone is capable of murder, are you?

I have to hand it to B.P. Walter for managing to grip my attention with a storyline that under any other circumstance may not have been my cup of tea. I can't say that any of the characters were 100% likeable but I did have a soft spot for Oliver and his brother Douglas. I appreciated that the brothers had each others backs and really seemed to care for one another. The chapters are short and zippy and each one leaves you hanging just enough for that "just one more chapter" refrain to echo in your head. The past and present timeline was handled exquisitely giving you just enough information to begin to slot those puzzle pieces into place. The ending even managed to give a surprise or two leaving me a happy reader! 4 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for my complimentary copy.

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Notes On A Murder is well-written, the characters are engaging, and the story certainly piqued my curiosity at the start. However, I did not get on with the plot. It felt under-developed, unbelievable, and ended far too abruptly.

BP Walter is a good writer, but this one wasn't for me so I won't be sharing my review. Thank you.

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I didn’t enjoy this book and have to admit I ended up skim reading towards the end.
The pace was slow and the characters lacked interest for me.
At times I felt I was reading a YA genre book.

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Notes on a Murder was a surprise - in a good way! I was expecting a psychological thriller, but what I actually found was something more akin to literary fiction or old-fashioned noir: very atmospheric, character-driven and with the story unfolding at a leisurely pace. I know it's been compared to The Talented Mr Ripley- and I see why - but I'd also love to know if the author was influenced by John Fowles' The Magus. I was reminded so much of the tone of that epic mind-bender!

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Notes on a Murder kept me hooked until the end. The overall atmosphere was dark and creepy, focusing on two young boys in their twenties addicted to watching murders.

However, the narrative lacked a clear theme. It felt more like a glimpse into Oliver's mind—memories and events of the past and present—rather than following the typical thriller structure. The absence of a clear theme made the story seem like an exploration of Oliver's thoughts and emotions, rather than a plot-driven thriller.

I wasn't particularly invested in the characters either. Niggles aside, there was something about this story that kept me engaged until the end. Speaking of the ending, it wasn't great. Considering the plot and unfolding events, I approached it with an open mind, as it could have taken different directions. However, I can't say I liked it.

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Hmmm.

I really wanted to like this, as I've liked the other books from this author. But there was just something that was quite a departure in this book. I think it might have been the "voice" which seemed to be written as though it were a writer from another era. I'm still trying to figure out if I would like it more if it were written in more modern tone.

This was quite a dark book, with unlikeable characters which isn't a bad thing. It added to the suspense, as the main characters as young men had to face moral choices that would have a bearing on their future. Could they trust that information wouldn't be used to blackmail them if they went along with certain activities?

I give the author points for writing a book that is unique and twisted, but I just could not get past the old fashioned sense of writing I got from it.

Thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter for an advance reader's copy.

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Rating: 3.9/5

B. P. Walter has become one of my "must read" authors over the past few years. His novels are always distinct from his previous publications, but you can be assured that neither the title nor the accompanying synopsis will adequately prepare you for the content of the book. For that same reason,. I am always averse to divulge too much of the plot of any of his stories, because it would potentially derive from their impact and the subsequent reading experience.

As with B.P. Walter's previous work, you can expect dark themes, which some readers may feel uncomfortable with. The setting works well and the writer manages to create an atmospheric sense of foreboding throughout the piece. The characterisation is, once again, well handled by the author, but in true noir fashion each character is flawed to varying degrees and not necessarily entirely likeable. Although this is a very different tale, I picked up echoes of "The Talented Mr Ripley at certain points while I was reading this. I would also say that this book also encroaches on the horror genre more than the author's previous offerings have done (though I believe he is currently working on a novel aimed specifically at that genre).

I wouldn't rate "Notes on a Murder" as my favourite novel from the B.P. Walter portfolio, but it is still very good and I will definitely be back for his next offering.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for supplying an ARC in return for an honest review.

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Argh, I'm sorry to say that I didn't really enjoy this book much at all.
In this book we get dual timelines (then and now) and whilst this can build tension, for me it completely failed.
It is such a slow burn that I found it to be really quite dull and by 30% not much had happened at all.
The pacing was far too slow for my tastes. I was willing things to happen to make it interesting or exciting but they never happened.
I feel like blurb for this is misleading. I found it to be much more like literary fiction or even domestic fiction rather than a thriller or mystery.
I was never invested in the plot and the connection between the main characters Oliver and Alastair never came across.
In the second half I had lost interest and was skim reading.
I have read The Locked Attic by this author before and was left disappointed by that, so maybe this is just not an author for me. There are comparisons on the cover of this to The Talented Mr Ripley and that I do agree with, so if you enjoyed that, you might like this.

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Twenty-one-year-old Oliver and his older brother, Douglas, have been dragged along by their parents to holiday in a luxury villa in Santorini for the summer. Their father is bullish and generally unpleasant, and upsets their horoscope-obsessed mother almost immediately by clearing off for a business meeting shortly after their arrival in Greece. Curious, Oliver and Douglas follow him to a restaurant, where he is sitting with a man and woman, Argento and Nita. Douglas is immediately smitten by the elegant Nita, who is much younger than her partner. Something is clearly afoot, as their father is agitated by the boys’ appearance, and although they join him and his companions at their table, before long he insists it’s time for him and his sons to leave.

Oliver notices a strikingly handsome young man by the beach. Fed up with the constantly fraught atmosphere in the villa, he goes out alone one evening and sees him in a bar, and they strike up a conversation. He discovers that the man, Alastair, has lost both of his parents. Although not without means, he is staying in a hostel. One thing leads to another and the pair embark on a passionate affair. Oliver begins to spend less and less time with his family and becomes infatuated with Alastair, hoping that this is a relationship that will endure beyond his vacation.

Whilst out one afternoon, the two young men bump into Argento, Oliver’s father’s business acquaintance, and he invites them to dine with him and the glamorous Nita on his private island. Initially reluctant, Oliver says nothing of this to his family and agrees to go along with Alastair. The surroundings are opulent and the food delicious, but Oliver is uncomfortable around Argento, who seems to be constantly watching him.

And so begins a slightly bizarre arrangement, with Oliver and Alastair becoming regular guests at Argento’s villa. But when one evening they are joined by another guest, a man named Jax Wolf, things take a very sinister turn and Oliver begins to wish he’d never set foot on the island.

Flash forward twenty years and Oliver has booked himself into a 'Wellness Centre' on account of his painkiller addiction. He is alone and clearly not happy with his lot. However, the sudden arrival of someone whom he has long believed dead sends him into complete turmoil. Gradually, what went on in Greece that fateful summer all those years ago is pieced together, told in flashbacks, and culminating in a shocking denouement.

I found this novel intriguing and deeply unsettling. The narrative is in the first person, told from Oliver’s perspective, in a dual timeline format. From the sensuous build of his affair with Alastair to the sharp contrast of the increasingly disturbing events on the island and beyond, I was almost holding my breath, waiting to discover where the winding plot was ultimately leading.

From the outset of the book, there is a constant sense of danger lurking beneath the surface. This is a cautionary tale of what could happen when the wrong people are drawn together in the wrong circumstances. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys dark, twisty thrillers that leave the reader with a sense of unease long after they have turned the final page. But be warned – it is not for the faint-hearted! A five-star read.

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I have read books by Walter before, but for some reason this book didn't connect with me the same way. I found the characters annoying. I didn't love their voices. I couldn't sink into the story and setting the same way as I have in the past. There was just something missing. I didn't really care what happened to them. I think this was a personal preference issue.

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Gripped me from the start but lost me a little as it went on. There’s no explanation for what happened in the 20 year time gap between Then and Now chapters and I felt the ending to be a bit rushed and unexplained.
3.5/5 stars

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Engaging and entertaining. A recommended purchase for collections where crime and thrillers are popular.

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The third novel I've read by B.P.Walter.

This one is certainly darker, but with the same twists and turns I've begun to expect.

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