The blurb: International, multi-million copy bestselling thriller writer Karin Slaughter is known for her compelling storytelling, intricate plotting and her ability to put the reader right at the heart of the crime. In The Unremarkable Heart she has turned her talents to a gripping story that will chill you to the bone
My review: This was a kindle short I downloaded as I have previously read a Will Trent Karin Slaughter novel and I really enjoyed her writing style. This is not a short for fans of Will Trent.
The Unremarkable Heart will not be a story for a lot of people, it wasn’t for me if I’m honest but it hasn’t put me off Karin Slaughter if you get my meaning. It’s subject not style that was the off-putting feature of this short. The protagonist, a woman with terminal cancer has but days to live. She is remembering her past whilst her husband administers to her over her final days. There is nothing in this short to instigate the tinyest glimmer of hope. Her whole life appears miserable from beginning to end and it made this short feel like a drudge, a slow walk through sludge.
As I hope I’ve made clear it’s not badly written, far from it, it’s slightly predictable and covers a subject that has, I feel, been covered before, but Slaughter obviously has a canny way with language and plot. Even when you sense the end is coming and guess the outcome, it’s a satisfactory denouement.
But and there sadly has to be a but with this book, I love crime fiction, but this is the most depressing story I have read in a long time. Crime fiction can be many things, gory, creepy, sad, fiendishly clever, hateful and hate-filled but there is always a tiny glimmer of redemption, of hope. It can be attached to any character, be part of an idea, be the possibility of a future… there is nothing here. No hope and no glimmer. Importantly it won’t stop me from reading another Karin Slaughter but this blog has to be about my personal taste, which is why I’m going to have to give this a low score. I felt thoroughly depressed at the end of reading this short and there wasn’t a clever twist to ponder, just sad thoughts. So for me, it’s a:
3 out of 10 stars ***
BUY ME! The Unremarkable Heart