EXCERPT: I lay on the bed staring at the ceiling, my open phone heavy in my hand. I’d found only one number in the memory. It seemed simple. If I wanted to find out who I was, all I had to do was dial it. So why couldn’t I do it?
ABOUT THIS BOOK: For generations Blackwood Bay, a quaint village in northern England, has been famous only for the smuggling that occurred along its coastline centuries ago, but then two local girls disappear bringing the town a fresh and dark notoriety. When Alex, an ambitious documentary filmmaker, arrives in Blackwood Bay, she intends to have the residents record their own stories as her next project. But instead of a quaint community, Alex finds a village blighted by economic downturn and haunted by a tragedy that overshadows every corner.
Alex pushes on with her work, but secrets old and new rise to the surface, raising tensions and suspicions in a town already on edge. Alex’s work takes her to dark places and uncomfortable truths which threaten to lead to a deadly unravelling.
MY THOUGHTS: I loved Second Life by S.J. Watson, it earned a glorious five stars from me. But Final Cut? I struggled to finish it. Had I been given this book with no previous experience of the author, I would have said that it was a debut novel, and not a very good one at that.
There is a lot of dialogue, far too much, and far too many questions, endless. These two things killed what little suspense there was for me. And there was very little of that. Occasional flashes of brilliance shine through – like the grave on the moors. I got excited at that point, certain that all was going to come right and that this was going to be the great read I had been expecting. That didn’t happen. Instead, the storyline seemed to get bogged down in itself and I lost interest. I even thought about not finishing it, but read on in the hope that my faith in this author would be justified.
There is nothing new in this plot. We have a young woman with amnesia, drawn back to her home town. Missing teenage girls – of whom ‘Alex’ is one. But no one recognizes her (there’s a reason for that which just didn’t gel for me), and she doesn’t seem to recognize many people in the village either. Her mother is conveniently no longer living there. And no mention is made of people she may have gone to school with . . . So, we have an unreliable narrator, a mysterious man living in an isolated house, an abandoned caravan, three missing girls, and strange behaviour by the villagers. It sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Like it should be a good suspenseful mystery. But it’s not. It flounders.
And it has one of those endings that I just hate – where all is ‘explained’ in a conversation, this one between ‘Alex’ and her psychiatrist.
THE AUTHOR: S.J. Watson was born in the UK, lives in London, and worked in the NHS for several years.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House, Transworld Publishers via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Final Cut by S.J. Watson for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. A lot of other readers love this book. Reading is a very personal subjective experience, and not every book is for every reader. So, if you enjoyed the extract, and the plot summary interests you, please do read Final Cut by S.J. Watson. I hope that you are one of the many who love this book.
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