Book Review, MCD Books, Mental Illness, Psychological, Suspense, Thriller

Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall


Publication Day: 08 May 2018
Publisher: MCD
ISBN: B076H4X9D4 (Kindle book)
Pages: 288
Category:  Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Obsession, Mental Illness

I decided to read another book from my TBR pile and remembered that I selected this book because of the author’s acknowledgments page.  She notes, “The first draft of this book was written in a mad spurt of anger at the continued injustices perpetrated against women in our so-called civilized society”.  Though it was published in May of this year, the injustices continue to this day and I couldn’t wait to begin.

When I lived with my mother there were monsters only I could see in the corner of my room, hidden by the cobwebs and filth that clung to our walls. I came to an agreement with those monsters. If I agreed never to look straight at them, they agreed not to eat me. It lessened the terror a bit.

Mike Hayes never felt true love until he met V.  His cruel upbringing from an alcoholic mother and her male visitors traumatized him more than he wanted to admit.  When he was placed with a foster family, he had already shown violent and unusual behavior in school.  His new foster parents, Elaine and Barry, did the best that they could in raising him to be responsible and making him feel wanted.  It wasn’t until he met Verity (V for short) in college that he understood real love for the first time.  Real obsessive love, to-die-for love, love that you crave…

All I could be sure of was that it was going to be something big, something that undeniably and irrefutably proved my love for V forevermore.

The entire book is told from Mike’s perspective and from the beginning you know something is off.  He insists that V has not moved on and still loves him.  That she is playing a game called crave that they created as college kids.  He also hears people say things about him that he doesn’t remember happening that way.

V would be lost without me, she wouldn’t know what to do with herself, she would be stranded and alone. It has always been my job to keep her safe.

The plot is very well written, the suspense is penetrating, and Mike’s obsession with V slowly grows more intense throughout the book.  This reader was impatient to find out what really happened and the ending is quite gripping, disturbing, and extremely sad. The only problem I had with the story was that it was too long and I believe it could have been condensed for just as much psychological impact.  Saying that, I strongly recommend this book for people who like psychological suspense.


Our Kind of Cruelty

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Araminta Hall is the author of Everything and Nothing. She has an MA in creative writing and authorship from the University of Sussex, and teaches creative writing at New Writing South in Brighton, where she lives with her husband and three children. Our Kind of Cruelty is her first book published in the United States.



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