CBR 14 Bingo: Funky
Not funky haha – but funky weird.
Hannah is writing a murder mystery about a quartet of friends, and Leo is beta reading it. But even as the mystery within Hannah’s novel grows complicated, it becomes clear that Leo isn’t who he says he is.
I have been cleaning up the ancient dregs of my backlog on NetGalley, which unfortunately is a lot like panning for gold. And thus far I have been, alas, an unsuccessful prospector.
This book had a promising premise, a sort of locked room mystery, with a side of an ominous correspondence. However, these two parts don’t really mesh at all. I had expected for Hannah to leave calling cards for Leo in the text or something of that nature, to tie things together, but no – we just get a lot of gross commentary from him in that ghoulish, edge-lord manner that some aspiring writers seem to have.
The story within the story is just not engaging either. The characters are all flat, especially Freddie. The way Freddie, Cain, Marigold, and Whit become instant friends defies explanation – especially considering how emotionally intimate they become. There’s a handful of plot holes I noticed, particularly surrounding Whit’s mom – and I am not even a particularly close reader. And the way the mystery unravels in the end is just unsatisfying.
I think the problem is that there’s just not enough plot for either part of the story, so they feel as though they were slapped together to support each other. While there’s some interesting commentary about writing race and current events (i.e. the pandemic), ultimately this book fell flat for me.
Do not recommend.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.