Haunting and thought-provoking, with an underlying sense of inescapable menace, Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall is a psychological drama that keeps the reader enthralled and turning the pages right up until its unsettling finish.
Our Kind of Cruelty is, at its heart, the tale of one character's obsessive fixation with another.
Or is it?
This is a story that plays with the antagonist/protagonist paradigm. Perceptions can seem off-kilter, the reader never completely certain if the character shown to be delusional is strictly mentally ill, or, if their dreadful upbringing, as well as their social and impulse-control challenges have made them vulnerable to being molded, manipulated, and taken advantage of under the guise of love and desire. Fueled by the psychology - or psychopathy - of the other, whose fantasy is being fulfilled? What is real, and who is being truthful?
We learn at the beginning of the book that one of the characters has been convicted of a crime. The reader spends most of the remainder of the novel feeling the vise tightening, and the walls slowly closing in, as the reader creeps toward whatever precipitated that character's prison sentence, and the courtroom trial leading up to it. There are a number of ingenious and subtle references to the works of other, well-known, female crime writers sprinkled throughout Our Kind of Cruelty.
Potential readers should be aware that there is a notable amount of sexual content in the book. If you are a fan of 2014s buzz-worthy novel "You" by Caroline Kepnes, if you are a reader who found the antagonist/protagonist push-pull of Ms. Kepnes's characters, particularly Joe Goldberg, fascinating, and if you enjoyed Joe's salacious, titillating, twisted narrative, there is an excellent chance that you will find Our Kind of Cruelty, by British author Araminta Hall, addictive, compelling, and very clever indeed.
This is a love story. Mike’s love story.
Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely life, before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.
It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his emails or phone calls.
It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.
It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move he’ll know just when to come to her rescue…
A spellbinding, darkly twisted novel about desire and obsession, and the complicated lines between truth and perception, Our Kind of Cruelty introduces Araminta Hall, a chilling new voice in psychological suspense.
Best for Crime Fiction Readers:
- Who enjoy well-written, character-driven crime novels and mysteries that emphasize the psychology of the characters, as opposed to shocking twists, or breathless suspense.
- Who enjoy crime novels and mysteries with one or more unreliable narrators.
- Who appreciate courtroom dramas.
- Who enjoy novels of domestic suspense.
- Who don't mind a moderate amount of sexual content in their crime fiction.
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)
MINM Overall Rating: 4/5
If you have read Our Kind of Cruelty, did you also notice nods to the works of other, female crime novelists? If so, which ones? Mystery in Minutes would love to hear from you in the comments below!
- Jun 11, 2019 Book Review: THE INVITED by Jennifer McMahon Jun 11, 2019
- May 20, 2019 Book Review: MIRACLE CREEK by Angie Kim May 20, 2019
- April 2019
- Mar 21, 2019 Book Review: AFTER SHE'S GONE by Camilla Grebe Mar 21, 2019
- Feb 28, 2019 Book Review: THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides Feb 28, 2019
- Feb 19, 2019 Book Review: THE LOST MAN by Jane Harper Feb 19, 2019
- Feb 1, 2019 Book Review: THE HIDING PLACE by C.J. Tudor Feb 1, 2019
- Jan 24, 2019 Book Review: Never Tell by Lisa Gardner Jan 24, 2019
- Jan 8, 2019 Book Review: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen Jan 8, 2019
- Jan 8, 2019 Happy 2019! Jan 8, 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- Oct 27, 2018 MINM Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton Oct 27, 2018
- Oct 17, 2018 MINM Book Review: The Wife by Alafair Burke Oct 17, 2018
- Oct 15, 2018 A Quick Note To Authors, Publishers, And To My Readers: Oct 15, 2018
- Sep 30, 2018 MINM Book Review: Button Man by Andrew Gross Sep 30, 2018
- Aug 31, 2018 YOU by Caroline Kepnes Book Review and Video Trailer of the Series Adaptation Aug 31, 2018
- Aug 21, 2018 Book Review: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones Aug 21, 2018
- Aug 10, 2018 MINM Book Review: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman Aug 10, 2018
- Aug 1, 2018 MINM Review: A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay Aug 1, 2018
- Jul 22, 2018 MINM Review: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland Jul 22, 2018
- Jul 10, 2018 MINM Review: A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo Jul 10, 2018
- Jul 2, 2018 MINM Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager Jul 2, 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- Feb 23, 2018 MINM Review: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn Feb 23, 2018
- Feb 12, 2018 MINM Review: The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir Feb 12, 2018
- Jan 31, 2018 MINM Review: Look For Me by Lisa Gardner Jan 31, 2018
- Jan 21, 2018 MINM Review: Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner Jan 21, 2018
- Jan 7, 2018 MINM Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor Jan 7, 2018
- Dec 17, 2017 MINM: Wishes our readers Happy Holidays with an excerpt from Magpie Murders Dec 17, 2017
- Dec 16, 2017 MINM Review: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz Dec 16, 2017
- Dec 5, 2017 MINM Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen Dec 5, 2017
- Nov 28, 2017 MINM Review: You Can Run by Steve Mosby Nov 28, 2017
- Nov 21, 2017 MINM: is Thankful Nov 21, 2017
- Nov 15, 2017 MINM Review: NIGHTBLIND by Ragnar Jonasson Nov 15, 2017
- Nov 8, 2017 MINM Review: Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo Nov 8, 2017
- Nov 2, 2017 MINM Review: Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge Nov 2, 2017
- October 2017
- Sep 26, 2017 MINM Review: Depth of Lies by E.C. Diskin Sep 26, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: Glass Houses by Louise Penny Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: Unsub by Meg Gardiner Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: Exquisite by Sarah Stovell Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins Sep 24, 2017