Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Book 58 of 2012: Contrition

I have fallen a little behind in the last few weeks, incredibly my last book review post was almost a month ago! So now I'm trying to get caught back up. I can't believe how far behind I've gotten on things but I'm slowly clawing my way back into a routine.

Anyway, book 58 of the year was a free review copy of Contrition by Robert E. Hirsch which I read as an ebook on my Kindle. It's set in a small town in America where a monk discovers the body of a young girl brutally murdered in their attic. The detective responsible for the case is having flashbacks to a previous case he worked, also involving a murdered child, and it seems that the culprit may not be of this world.

I wasn't quite sure whether or not this would be my kind of a story, I mean, I like a good thriller/mystery/crime novel but I wasn't sure what I would make of the religious element. I've got a passing understanding of Catholicism but beyond what I've picked up from friends, books and TV I'm in the dark. I will admit that there were some elements of the religious aspect which were lost on me, but it was all fairly well set up so that you didn't have to absolutely understand the religion to follow the story.

It was a good story on the whole and pretty creepy in places. However I did find it a little bit convoluted at times. Two of the key characters, Tristan and Malik, have a pretty long history together but it took me a little while to figure out exactly who or what they were. I think part of this was because I wasn't sure what genre to pigeon-hole this one under, once I started getting into the book I realised that the genre didn't really matter and I just kind of went with the flow of it.

I did think that the ending was a bit rushed. It was difficult for me to follow exactly what was happening. Also, most of the way through the book there was sufficient description for me to build a picture of the scene in my mind - as an aside, I'm not sure how many other people do this, but when I read I frequently get a perfect picture of the place I'm reading about in my mind, and if I pick up a book I've read before I'm immediately taken back to that same place I pictured the first time around - but towards the end I couldn't picture things so well which led to a bit of confusion for me.

I liked the story and it was an interesting concept, kind of blending religion, horror and fantasy alongside crime. It's certainly not something I would have chosen to read had I seen it on the shelves of a bookshop, but I enjoyed it for the most part.

"It is often said that time heals the wound... and too often forgotten that nature leaves a scar so the injury may never be forgotten."Location 54

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