Apple Tree Yard

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Writing about this book is a tricky task, as the plot is best discovered whilst reading it for yourself – I certainly wouldn’t want to spoil the plot for anyone, the twists make this novel.

What I will say is that this was a slow starter for me: it took me a while to get into and at one point I nearly considered dropping it entirely.  I wasn’t overly keen on the narrative style and the plot wasn’t leaving me gripped at first.

However,  all this changed once I reached the half way point of the novel.  Key plot points started to fall into place and the narrative style became a little more bearable. All of a sudden I was gripped; I read the last two hundred pages in less than two hours, enjoying the numerous plot twists and turns.

And the ending? Well, lets just say, it didn’t disappoint.

Well worth a read, even though it was slow going at first.

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‘The Never List’… on my never-read-again list

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Usually, it takes me a while to get into a book, but when I do I can’t put it down. This book was the opposite; the first 100 pages had me gripped, and then it lost me… completely.

The story is narrated by Sarah/Caroline, who spent 3 years locked in a cellar, being repeatedly tortured (probably not a book for the faint-hearted). Sadly, what starts out seeming like a book exploring the aftermath of an encounter with true evil,  turned into some kind of adventure thriller that tried too hard to shock! This book would be much more powerful if it focused on the impact on individuals rather than trying to build to a seemingly more dramatic ending.

What’s worse is the completely dreadful characterisation.  The narrator, who at the start is claustrophobic and unable to leave her own home or talk to strangers, somehow manages to track down witnesses and interview them with the skill of an investigative journalist. And then visit a BDSM club. Swiftly followed by tailing a stranger in a car to his abandoned warehouse! Seriously? I’m happy to suspend my disbelief when reading fiction, but this is just taking it too far.

As for the final twist? Well, I won’t spoil it for you, but it is probably one you’ll see coming.

Overall, a disappointing read.