Friday, July 17, 2015

The River is Dark - A Review

The River is Dark by Joe Hart is like a thoroughbred that explodes out of the starting gate only to lose momentum after the first turn and cross the finish line last.  It is a shame, too, for the book had a lot of potential.

The River is Dark is a story about the gruesome murders of two different couples that occur in the same little Mississippi River town within a few weeks of each other.  The brother of one of the victims, Liam, is a former homicide detective.  Liam comes to town to settle his estranged brother's affairs but gets pulled in to the investigation of the murders that are somehow connected.

I truly wanted to like this book and I really did enjoy the first 2-3 hours of the story.  Sadly, it started to fizzle out, then it got a little weird, and that's when my interest started to wain.  I did finish the book, mainly out of sheer stubbornness and because it was a relatively short book (7 hours 16 minutes in audiobook format).  

Despite it's shortness, it still took me nearly five days to listen to it.  Five days!  Five days in the summer (Translation: when I am off from work!).  That in itself speaks volumes.  It wasn't a matter of not having the time to listen to it; it just wasn't interesting enough for me to want to listen to it.  Had it been longer, I probably would've abandoned it.

Overall, I am disappointed in the book.  Due to the overly predictable foreshadowing in the first 1/3 of the book, I figured out the "who" and the "why" long before they were revealed in the story.  I don’t like that.  If I can solve the mystery that early in the story, then it's too easy. Trust me, for I am not that great of a sleuth!

I also think too much time was spent on Liam's "troubled past," which really did not contribute anything, in my opinion, to the overall story.  Since it wasn't fully explored, I found it unnecessary and somewhat of a distraction.

This is the first novel by Joe Hart that I have ever read, so I have nothing to compare it to in terms of his other works.

I gave The River is Dark a rating of 2/5 stars on Goodreads.

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