Publisher: Putnam Adult (August 6, 2013)
ebook: 344 pages
Series: Zailer & Waterhouse #7
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Amber Hewerdine suffers from chronic insomnia. As a last resort, she visits a hypnotherapist, doubtful that anything will really change. Under hypnosis, Amber hears herself saying, “Kind, cruel, kind of cruel.” The words awaken a vague memory, but she dismisses the whole episode as nonsense. Two hours later, however, Amber is arrested for the brutal murder of a woman she’s never heard of, and the only way she can clear her name is by remembering exactly where she’s seen those words.
There was just something about Ms. Hannah’s writing that was very engaging. She affected the voice of each character so well as the story carried you through different perspectives. Normally I’d find that to be obtrusive and annoying to bounce back and forth between characters, but, with Kind of Cruel, it worked.
Then there’s the psychological aspect to it all. I have to admit, when I heard “hypnotherapist” I thought quack/phony/scam. However, as I read on, I could tell that this therapist may have had unconventional methods, but she was also a therapist in the traditional sense as well. And through her we’re able to delve into the psyche of Amber and some of the other character(s) in the story.
Amber is so refreshingly unapologetic about how she is not a nice person. “Pretending to be a better person than I am is exhausting, having to make a constant effort to produce behavior that doesn’t match my mental state.” (ebook 4%) It is very easy to sympathize with her because a lot of what she thinks resonates with me. (Does that make me a bad person? Perhaps.)
The mystery that Ms. Hannah crafted was riveting. Even when you think you’re starting to understand something, she throws something new out from left field to make you think twice. It’s awesome and frustrating and a really great way to keep me reading. This is a definite recommendation for anyone who enjoys a well written psychological mystery. Or even if this isn’t your usual cup of tea, give it a shot anyway.
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