West Heart Kill

I love me a good mystery novel. West Heart Kill, my friends, is not that.

West Heart Kill is set at a hunting lodge in the 70s. The bodies start piling up, and our ace detective, Adam, just happens to be there for the holiday celebrations.

I knew from the first few pages that I did not like the writing style of this book. I thought it might grow on me, or prove interesting in other ways. Perhaps there would be some decent characters, or an interesting plot twist. Well, turns out the joke’s on me, the writing style is the plot twist.

The novel is written, in part, in the second person, 4th wall breaking, POV, that on certain TV shows, I love. For a mystery novel, not so much. This alternates with some bits written in the third person following our detective Adam. And then, interspersed within all this, are some reflections on the history and tropes of mystery novels.

The character list is lengthy, and even with a list of who’s who, it’s hard to keep them straight. The novel is too set on its inventive writing style to devote much time to character depth, or arc. The writing style detracts from the overall story. Which may or may not be a good thing, given that the story isn’t very interesting, the characters are all pretty ugly and unlikeable, and in the end, it doesn’t really matter who killed who, I was just glad it was over.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and Knopf for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.

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