Aside from the ONE non-fiction title I have gotten from Amazon's First Reads, I have had really crappy luck so far. I go for the thrillers, because that is the genre I am most drawn to outside of my cozy giant non-fiction bubble. I love a good mystery/thriller that keeps me guessing, I don't need any of the romance BS, I just want a good story.
Unfortunately, this one was not a good one for me. Or for anyone. I definitely do not recommend it.
It started out really promising, and I was thinking that this could be a good series to get into it. Sawyer's life was interesting, as was her work as a reporter. But things spiraled downhill quickly when she had to return home to River Rock, the place she spent her childhood and where she was horrifically abused by her uncle and some guys he knew, while her parents turned a blind eye to it.
Everything about River Rock is a clusterfuck. The characters constantly talk about how the town is cursed, it damages people, it's evil, get out and stay out for good, blah blah blah. It was weird, like the town was its own living entity.
Except of course it wasn't. It was just one more attempt to make the story feel more sinister. The problem is, it did not work. It came across as super dramatic, not sinister.
The story is all over the place. There are so many random subplots going on, and things that were intended to be red herrings, but did not work that way. They were pretty half-assed in some places, truth be told.
While Sawyer is home, another teenage girl is killed in the same way that two other girls were when Sawyer was a child. Not to mention, her own best friend vanished without a trace. It was all just too much. So many of these plot points would have actually been decent stories on their own, instead of being thrown in one pot all together and stirred, just to see what would come out when it was done cooking.
We get Sawyer's point of view, then the point of view of a woman involved in a revenge/vigilante group (it is super obvious which of Sawyer's sisters was part of the group from very early on) and then when Sawyer is back in River Rock and the most recent murder occurs, we get this random point of view of the killer, who doesn't make an appearance until super late in the book. Prior to this though, far earlier, it was pretty obvious who the killer would be, though I have to admit I did not know how or why this person was involved. All it took was common sense to see that identity, but the whole rest of the plot regarding that involvement was an even bigger clusterfuck because it was all just so convoluted.
The main characters, mainly Sawyer and her sisters, were very underdeveloped. We get a lot of telling about them, but not nearly as much showing. One sister is super uptight, one is a hot mess. Sawyer is somewhere in the middle.
There is quite a bit of violence, and that did not bother me all that much, but it might very well bother others - mainly where the revenge group is concerned.
The pacing was awkward and slow and it was hard to stay interested. The only reason I kept going is because I had to see how right I was about all the nonsense. I was pretty accurate, if I do say so myself. But that is not really much to brag about, because this was also really predictable.
As you can see, this is a hard pass from me and I can not say I would recommend it to anyone. If you are still interested, it may still be available through Amazon First Reads. Praise Jesus for Prime, I am glad I did not pay money for this one.