Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Red Leaves: A Novel by Paullina Simons

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

In the tradition of Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History comes a suspenseful thriller from the international bestselling author of The Bronze Horseman—an utterly captivating story about four Ivy League students whose bizarre friendship leads to a twisted maze of secrets, lies, betrayal, and murder.

As the star player of Dartmouth College’s women’s basketball team, Kristina Kim is beautiful, intelligent, and fearless. But though she’s just 21, Kristina has already had her share of heartache, loss, and dark secrets that haunt her. She’s best friends with Conni, Albert, and Jim, but the only one who seems to really know her is Albert. With long dark hair, tattoos, and a rebellious streak, Albert doesn’t fit in with the rest of the clean-cut Ivy Leaguers. Like Kristina, he has his share of secrets—secrets that are beginning to unravel this intimate circle of friends.

One wintry Thanksgiving weekend tragedy strikes…

When Detective Spencer O’Malley goes to investigate something suspicious at the foot of a steep hill on Dartmouth’s campus, he doesn’t expect that the frozen, naked body found in deep snow would belong to Kristina Kim—the remarkable young woman he met recently who entranced him. Now Spencer will never know if the chemistry he had with her was real. All he can do is find her killer.

Spencer is pulled into the strange, complex web of the surviving friends. Many important questions about Kristina’s murder cannot be answered, such as: why did none of them report her missing for nine days before her body was discovered? The more Spencer digs, the more clear it becomes that each of the three has a motive for killing Kristina. And as Spencer, seeking justice for a dead girl, is led down a labyrinth of deceit, every new revelation proves more shocking than the last….and more dangerous.

my thoughts:

What a disappointment!  Red Leaves turned out to be a dud for me.  I found the story to be too predictable - there is no mystery as you will easily figure out "whodunit" right from the start.  The characters were all unlikeable and cliched caricatures that made you wonder how they could even call themselves "friends".  Their relationships were beyond flawed - they were twisted and harmful.  As for the dialogue between characters - unrealistic and awkward to the point that it distracted from the actual story.  I found the book to be lackluster in every area.  I wound up skim reading bits and pieces of the story, but ended up giving up on the book midway through.  I had to DNF Red Leaves in the end.

Of course, I seem to be in the minority, as all of the reviews I've read praise the book for its slow-burn pace and suspenseful mystery.  What am I not seeing?!  Anyhow, the book was a miss for me, but it may be a hit for you - so, check out what other bloggers have to say about Red Leaves.

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for:  Red Leaves
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

Oh, no! That's too bad. I was hopeful about this one because I like that Ivy League setting, but not when the rest of the book is so awful. Better luck next time. :)

Nadia said...

Lark, I know what you mean. I was so looking forward to this one, but it just turned out to be such a dud. :(