A thriller where a podcast forces a woman to confront her broken memory and face a new threat
Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This blog contains affiliate links. I make a small commission when you decide to buy books via the Amazon or Book Depository purchase links available in the book review's post.
I am SUCH a sucker for any books that feature podcasts! Maybe it’s because of Sadie by Courtney Summers or my love for true crime podcasts in general. But I was drawn to this novel from the start, and couldn’t wait to read it!
Published January 9, 2021 by St. Martin's Press
Data from Goodreads
The past haunts her. The present hunts her.
Conviction @ConvictionPod · 1m
The investigating officer: “I’ve seen a lot of homicides in the years since, but…that’s the one that keeps me up at night.”
The husband’s best man: “They had everybody fooled. Or at least, she did. But I always knew something was off.”
Hannah, the wife: “I told you. I don’t remember anything. I don’t know.”
That’s all to come, this season, on Conviction. Get ready for our most twisted season yet.
Ten years ago, Hannah’s husband was brutally murdered in their home, and she (conveniently) doesn’t remember a thing about that night. But the police charged someone else—a stranger—and put him away for life. And Hannah packed up her six-year-old daughter and left London behind.
But now her hard-won countryside peace is threatened. Conviction, a viral true crime podcast known for getting cases reopened and old verdicts overturned, has turned its attention to Hannah’s husband’s murder for its new season. They say police framed the man who was found guilty, and that Hannah has more suspicious secrets than just her memory loss: a history of volatility; citations at the clinic where she worked as a psychiatrist; dependencies on alcohol and pills; and a familicidal grandmother, locked away in a Gothic insane asylum until her death. As Hannah loses the trust of everyone she loves, the only person she feels she can confide in is a former colleague, Darcy, who’s come back into her life—but who may have motives of her own. But Hannah can’t tell even Darcy her deepest secret: that she’s still tormented by the memory of her husband and the crater he carved through her life.
My Review: Didn’t Work For Me
There were so many things about this novel that I was excited for but it just didn’t work for me.
To start, the use of the podcast and social media was just hype – it wasn’t very effective. I also found the story was bogged down after the first chapter by familiar tropes, slow pacing, and repetitiveness. There just really wasn’t much to the story to keep me interested.
I’m also getting very tired of the use of mental health as a thriller trope. I get that the author wants our main character to be an unreliable narrator, but there has to be some other way to do that! Not only is using mental health as an excuse slightly lazy, but it also does not handle this topic sensitively.
I also didn’t like any of the characters in the story. Now, that’s not really an issue because there are certain books I’ve read with unlikeable characters but I’ve still enjoyed the novel. In this case, I just didn’t feel a connection to any character and I didn’t really care about them from an emotional perspective. There was never a point in the story where I felt bad for what Hannah was going through; I just found her annoying.
So what made me continue reading? Honestly… I just wanted to know the end reveal to see if I was right. Turns out I was only partially correct. While I pegged the culprit, I did not envision the ending that the author wrote. However, I didn’t really like the ending.
This novel had an interesting premise and a promising start. Unfortunately, it did not live up to the hype, and its slow pacing, boring characters, and reliance on mental health as a trope let it down. For those reasons, I’m giving it 1/5 stars.