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Sunday, July 17, 2016

The List {Book Review}

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The great thing about being a teacher on summer break is the ability to read books on your own time. I've read several books this summer but haven't completed any of them.

I charged my kindle two weeks ago and saw that I had downloaded a book. I don't remember when I downloaded it or from where I downloaded it. Originally, I thought that I might have requested to review the book from NetGalley - but it's not listed on the site.  I figured I would read the first couple of pages and figure out why I would have downloaded it.

I read the first line:

"I found the head."
With a great first line like that how could I not continue reading? So, I continued reading. And I found myself going back to read it when I had time. I even took my kindle with me to Atlanta when I attended a conference earlier this week.

The List, written by J.A. Konrath is a labelled as a "techno thriller". It's a who done it with a scientific twist. It also happens to be a book I would not pull off the shelves and read, so the mystery remains: what was I thinking when I downloaded this book?

The story revolves around several individuals who have one thing in common: a mysterious blue number tattoo on the bottom of their left foot. The book opens with one of these individuals found dead in his apartment which starts the lead detective's investigation, who also has a tattoo on the bottom of his foot.

The reader discovers the connection rather quickly but Konrath doesn't divulge the whole plot until the very end of the book, which leaves for a great opening for a sequel. However, as far as I can tell, there is no direct sequel to this book. It's a real shame, though. It leaves a few loose ends to tie up that never get tied up. (According to Amazon, Konrath has written 11 books in the collective as stand-alone novels.) As I said, it's a real shame because this could have easily become a series of two, if not three, books.

The book is rather graphic. The head from the opening line is the head of the first victim which has comically rolled under a chair. The language is rough at points but the dialogue is strong through most of the book. Some parts of laugh-out-loud funny while others are groan worthy. There are some rough patches that don't quite "flow" as smoothly as they could and the ending felt pretty rushed. It was presented to the reader in rapid-fire, which considering it was the ultimate climax, would have been okay. But it didn't seem to flow with the rest of the book. The additional story toward the end was good and was a complete surprise to this reader but felt thrown together like the author was nearing a word limit or a deadline.

However, overall, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Will I read it again? No. But to be fair, I rarely read books for a second time. But I would definitely recommend this read to anyone who likes thrillers/mysteries. I'd also recommend this book to anyone who doesn't. I am this reader. I read this, completely out of my comfort zone, and I liked it.

Overall:
Sex - 1
Violence - 10
Gore - 10
Language - 10

Until next time...
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