I wasn’t sure what kind of a book this is supposed to be but it’s categorized as “mystery/suspense” at Audible so I guess I’ll go with that – there are several mysteries including a murder or two. And it is suspenseful although not over-the-top, rather, the suspense builds and ebbs and builds again. There are no professional cops involved except at a rather minor character level.
Somebody I Used to Know
by David Bell
2015 / 432 pages
read by Andy Paris – 10h 51m
rating – A
The thing is, Bell unwinds the suspense slowly – then a twist -then slowly again, just kind of spooling it out. I wasn’t too sure I really wanted to continue with this even after several hours of listening. There’s a wee bit of procedural and a wee bit of legal stuff in the book – there’s a cop and an attorney involved.
Mostly it’s about a single man in his mid-30s who as our 1st person protagonist explains his situation regarding his college girlfriend, the love of his life, suddenly dead. The story picks up when he sees her, or thinks he sees her, in a grocery store. When the woman sees him she takes off out of the store, but is found murdered that night in a motel room with a slip of paper on which is written the name Nick Hanson. Yes. Our protagonist himself.
So the police decide Nick has more to do with it than simply seeing her in the store and he hires a lawyer. He’s eliminated as a suspect pretty quickly but the whole situation raises some questions – like who the heck is she and what does she want with him?
Nick has some friends, a woman who is divorcing him, a woman he’s he’s dating, and another old female friend with connections who wants to help. Apparently they have to do the investigating themselves because the police are really only interested in who killed the girl in the motel room. Nick is more interested in finding out what happened to his girlfriend (dead in the fire?) and her family who moved, right off the grid, disappeared, shortly after the events.
The suspense is controlled and sometimes subtle, but it heightens as the book goes on so if you pick this one up and feel a bit bored, keep going. The characters get pretty well developed and the plot twists like a braid. It’s worth it.