Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"The Winter Girl: A Novel" by Matt Marinovich ARC

"The Winter Girl: A Novel" by Matt Marinovich is due to be released on January 19, 2016. It is an ARC I requested to read and was granted access via Netgalley and Doubleday Books. It is described as this:

A scathing and exhilarating thriller that begins with a husband's obsession with the seemingly vacant house next door.

     It's wintertime in the Hamptons, where Scott and his wife, Elise, have come to be with her terminally ill father, Victor, to await the inevitable. As weeks turn to months, their daily routine—Elise at the hospital with her father, Scott pretending to work and drinking Victor's booze—only highlights their growing resentment and dissatisfaction with the usual litany of unhappy marriages: work, love, passion, each other. But then Scott notices something simple, even innocuous. Every night at precisely eleven, the lights in the neighbor's bedroom turn off. It's clearly a timer . . .but in the dead of winter with no one else around, there's something about that light he can't let go of. So one day while Elise is at the hospital, he breaks in. And he feels a jolt of excitement he hasn't felt in a long time. Soon, it's not hard to enlist his wife as a partner in crime and see if they can't restart the passion. 
     Their one simple transgression quickly sends husband and wife down a deliriously wicked spiral of bad decisions, infidelities, escalating violence, and absolutely shocking revelations. 
     Matt Marinovich makes a strong statement with this novel. The Winter Girl is the psychological thriller done to absolute perfection

Except that it wasn't a book done to absolute perfection. It wasn't even close in my opinion. I have to say that the beginning really got me and sucked me in fast! But the more I kept reading, the more it kept sizzling out. The excitement faded fast and turned into a completely unbelievable thriller that just was too over the top. 

No one, anywhere, would ever say or do the things that main characters of this book did. No one. While this is a work of fiction and the definition of fiction is literature that describes imaginary events and people, it was just too much. The words "are you kidding me" floated through my mind constantly while reading. But despite the craziness I continued to read.

Then story then gets really really sick and twisted. Dark family secrets of sex and lies come out. So unbelievable and so twisted that I am still very confused about it all. It is almost like the author couldn't correctly describe the characters' thoughts and feelings on certain situations and just kind of left the reader wondering "what the fuck just happened". 

There are parts of this book that are so well written and a pleasure to read. The scenery in this book is so well described. But the character's were a bit of a mystery to me. There was just something lacking in them that made them unlikable and one dimensional. Not much character development at all. Further character development may have made for a more enjoyable story.

I won't get into any further details so not to ruin this book for others who may still want to read it. It is a dark thriller with a sick, perverted twist. 

Not a complete waste of precious reading time, but in no way a good read. I feel like this could have been such a good book, but wasn't well executed and edited. Reading it was so disjointed and bizarre. The unexpected plot twists do keep on coming, which is the sole reason I continued to read. It was also a short novel, so finishing it didn't take long.

2.5 stars from me. I like dark thrillers, but this was so perverted, unbelievable, and at the same time vague, that I still can't wrap my head around the "why's". 

Happy Reading!

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