Extreme Malice by R E Swirsky.
Synopsis… “She was found with a guitar string still wrapped tightly around her soft neck. Eighteen year old Josh Anderson, the college boy from next door, is charged with her murder. It was his guitar string around her neck. His footprints are found inside her house. Her earring found under his bed. Donna Gardner’s husband Jack was hundreds of miles away on business. Was it the perfect Murder?”
Overall rating 3 out of 5 stars.
I had so many notes written out about this book that it’s taken me so long to write this review because I’m just not sure what to say…
I’ve rated Extreme Malice 3 stars because while I was incredibly intrigued and drawn into this book, and I didn’t put it down until I’d finished it out of pure need to know what was going on, but, I did really struggle with some parts of it.
I had seen some reviews stating that the book needed an editor and proof reader, but I had no issues that I could see with the book.
I think my favourite part of it was the chapter headings, which sounds sad, but they were like diary entries with the date and time at the top, which helped me visualise how much time was passing during the investigation.
The author builds the idea of a perfect life for Jack and Donna, and you’d be forgiven for thinking here we go again with another murder mystery, but you would be mistaken… The deeper we delve into the story the more that starts to unravel, but it’s pretty clear that we can’t trust anyone and I definitely feel the author built that suspicion up well.
I disliked how the author really honed in on the narrative that Jack must have killed his wife. I felt it was shoved down our throats and we were being forced to believe this without being allowed to make our own assumptions.
Most crime thriller books I’ve read will plant lots of little clues to keep you guessing until the very end, whereas Swirsky didn’t give us that chance.
At points, I also felt it was hard to determine who was speaking. There was a lot of dialogue without any clear indicator and I found myself having to go back through the page and restart the conversation to keep track.
I was definitely curious about what was going on, but once everything was revealed it was very anticlimactic and I felt let down. And once we reached this point, I felt Swirsky was grasping at straws to keep the book going and kept repeating unnecessary parts.
The ending itself was inspired though and actually redeemed this book quite a bit for me! I was shocked to say the least. (I don’t want to go into too much detail and give anything away haha).
On the whole, I did enjoy Extreme Malice, I just wouldn’t read it again, as while I was intrigued and shocked by the ending it just wasn’t the best crime thriller I’ve ever read.
Let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought!
Until next time, Em xxx