I rarely enjoy unreliable narrator stories, but I had no trouble engaging with Kaira Rounda’s thriller, Best Day Ever. Primarily because the book has an exceptionally slow build. So by the time I realized what Rouda was doing, I was already hooked.
Here are some things she did which I thought were exceptional.
No information the narrator gave was unnecessary. As a reader, I like to feel my reading attention and time is important to an author. I understand the purpose of red herrings and ultimately of fooling a reader, but I appreciate an author who doesn’t find it necessary to use them. That buys my loyalty.
First person is hard to write. It seems as though it would be the easiest form. After all, we all think in the first person, right? But an all seeing narrator is incredibly convenient. There is no difficulty describing the main character’s expressions, thoughts, reactions. First person narratives often rely on the, “I looked in the mirror and noticed my eyes were unusually blue that day” cheat.
Rouda manages first person narration in Best Day Ever so adeptly, I found myself stopping to admire her skill.
Her pacing is also remarkable. Unreliable though the narrator may be, when it comes to how he tells his story, he is utterly trustworthy. As a reader, I was certain whatever he had to say next would be relevant, perhaps critical. The tension was unrelenting. Not what you want in real life, but in a book? Yes, please.
Most of all, though, I appreciated Rouda’s solid and consistent portrayal of sociopathy from the inside. I’ve had more experience than I would like interfacing with less violent versions of people like Paul Strom and I can vouch for the accuracy of her depiction. She makes no excuses for his behavior, nor does she imply it is all due to his admittedly miserable childhood. She just observes him from within.
Read Best Day Ever. It’s both chilling and believable.
Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. Wednesday is generally book review day. Unless it isn’t. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at www.rosegreybooks.com. Waiting For You, Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.