For as often as I read mystery thrillers like this, I so rarely enjoy them. And there are so many reasons I shouldn’t have enjoyed In My Dreams I Hold a Knife, but I still did, in spite of all of them.
The main character, Jess, is an overachiever preparing to go back to her 10 year college reunion at Duquette, a college which is “just a step below the Ivy League.” In college she was part of a golden group called the East House Seven who were well-known and popular on campus, until one of them–Heather–was brutally murdered, and another of them–Jack, Heather’s boyfriend–was accused of but ultimately not found guilty of her murder. Heather’s brother ambushes the remaining East House Seven at the reunion and insists on interrogating all of them because he’s convinced one of them is Heather’s murderer. The book jumps back and forth in time from the reunion to various incidences that happened throughout Jess’s four years in college, and we slowly cross suspects off the list until the killer is revealed.
First, the bad–the dialogue, particularly when the characters are in college, made me cringe. Not only that, but the way the characters act at the reunion struck me as unrealistic. Do 32-year-olds really care this much about who dated who in college? Would they really snipe at their college ex-boyfriend’s wife? Also, I hated–HATED–the ending. Not the reveal of who the killer was, but after–the wrap up. I hated it.
But somehow I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this and found myself really liking it. I liked the premise, I actually liked several of the characters–a rarity for me in this genre–and I really wanted to know what was going to happen. If they made a TV show out of this book, I would watch it in a heartbeat. Not because it would be quality television, but because it would hit the sweet spot of interesting story and beautiful trash that I look for in the shows I binge for stress relief.
This isn’t quality literature by any means–but if you like books like this, and the premise interests you, give it a chance. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a mystery thriller like this.