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Friday, June 9, 2017

#CJSReads REVIEW: Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre @QuercusUSA #PierreLemiatre

Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre
Quercus Books

Holy WOW.  This was quite the ride.  Such a unique writing style and a story that will leave you in a permanent face state of 😲... If you love psychological thrillers and crime fiction, I highly recommend picking this one up.  NOW.  See why below..

Big thanks to Quercus for our these copies in return for our honest reviews.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Normally happy and well-adjusted, Sophie Duguet doesn't understand what's happening to her: she has begun losing things, from her recently delivered mail to the car she parked the night before. She is constantly forgetting things she's said and done, too . . . only to be reminded of them by her acquaintances. She's even detained by the police for shoplifting--a crime she has no memory whatsoever of having committed. 

But this is just the beginning. As she slowly sinks deeper into dementia and depression, things go from troubling to alarming. Soon she finds herself connected to the deaths of several people around her: a neighbor boy she is babysitting is murdered while in her care; a stranger seeks shelter with her and winds up dead; and finally, her employer is killed in a way that suggests she was responsible. And she doesn't remember a thing about any of it.

Desperate to escape the nightmare, a confused and horrified Sophie changes her name and relocates, hoping to outrun the demons that have begun to plague her. But this may not be enough to stop the evil that has poisoned her life and begun to claim the lives of everyone around her . . . 

My Review:
Sophie had a normal life.... once.  Then she starts losing her mind one misplaced item or forgotten memory at a time.  Week after week, things get progressively worse.  She finds herself becoming physically and emotionally erratic and doesn't understand why she can't control her behavior anymore.  The final draw comes when she wakes up and finds a little boy she's a nanny to, strangled and bound.  Not seeing any other conclusion than her committing this atrocious act while in a fugue state, she decides to go on the run.  

This novel is hard to review without giving away the plot so I'm going to be as general as possible.  We see from two points of view, each in a linear fashion until we are caught up with both their stories.  While the plot twists were a doozies, they didn't really give that WOW factor because you could see where the author was taking you.  What DID get the wow factor was the WAY the author goes about doing this.  Pierre has such a unique writing style and really pulls you into each character's mindset.  A true page turner of a psychological thriller/crime fiction story that will keep you reading late into the night.  Highly recommend.  Now excuse me while I head straight to Amazon to buy the rest of his translated works!

5 Bloody Stars

Jessica's Thoughts:

When I got a hold of this book I hadn’t heard much about it. And, not to complain, there wasn’t much of a description on Goodreads. I knew it was a thriller/suspense novel and it was a translation. Then I saw on the cover, “A really excellent suspense novelist.” – Stephen King. If the King approves, then I need to read it. BLOOD WEDDING by Pierre Lemaitre (translated by Frank Wynne) is about a woman trying to get a handle on her blackouts, but when people turn up dead, she questions everything she thinks is true. 

Sophie Duguet has been forgetful lately – simple things like misplacing her keys or forgetting where she left her car. It began spiraling into forgetting what she has said and done and turned into her being detained for shoplifting – a crime she doesn’t remember committing. Her blackout spells continue to worsen and one day she discovers that the young boy she nannies, Leo, has been killed. She has no memory of this tragedy taking place while he was in her care. Sophie goes on the run.

We follow Sophie on her journey to finding a new life for herself. From changing her identity to her appearance so that she can evade the police. Did she really kill Leo? She thinks that she has escaped the demons from her past – finding a new place, new job, and potentially a new husband – but her new nightmare has only just begun.

Most of the story is in Sophie’s perspective, but then we’re introduced to Frantz’ perspective. Frantz has been keeping a journal on Sophie for years and follows her every move. He knows all the intimate details of her life and shows just how far obsession can take a person.

This book was a unique suspense novel. I really enjoyed it and the twists thrown in were great! I definitely wasn’t expecting the ending. Lemaitre did a great job making Sophie real; you felt what she felt. There were times where I was questioning everything – did she kill Leo? Did she kill the others? Why is she having these blackouts? If you want a good psychological suspense, then I’d highly recommend this one!

I give this a solid 4/5 stars!

Sam's Thoughts:

FINALLY A BOOK THAT CLAIMS TO BE LIKE GONE GIRL OR Girl On The Train and actually lives up to the hype! 

Sophie is becoming concerned. When she first began becoming forgetful, she was worried but brushed it off; everyone confuses an appointment or forgets where they have stored something. But as time progressed, Sophie sank deeper and deeper into bouts of complete confusion and then, eventually, blackouts. Sophie tries to go about her life the best she can but is suddenly forced to go on the run when her six-year-old charge is brutally murdered while in her care. Now Sophie must learn to survive, to survive she needs a new identity, and to gain a new identity she will need to trust other. But how can she trust others when she doesn’t even trust herself….

Blood Wedding, by Pierre LaMaitre, is, hands down, one of the most insane pieces of crime fiction I have ever read. This story has everything that I love in a novel. It mixes domestic and psychological thriller elements, we have an extremely unreliable narrator (think Gone Girl or Girl on the Train) and a plot twist so unexpected that the entire view of the novel changes.

Sophie narrates the story through her first person point of view. She is scared and confused as she experiences blackouts, memory loss, and huge blank spaces. She doesn’t remember having to go places, she misplaces her car and she becomes involved with the police after a shoplifting incident she has no memory of. She is working through it the best way she can until a six-year-old boy in her care is murdered. What is she supposed to do? Fearing what will happen, and her fearing her own sanity, she goes on the run and tries to develop a new life for herself.

LaMaitre writes a completely twisted plot that left me wanting more. From the first page, I was hooked by Sophie’s plight. I found myself just as confused as she was throughout most of the beginning of the book. Does she have mental health issues? Is she being framed? It remains completely unclear. About half way through the book, LaMaitre drops the biggest plot twist of any book I have ever read and the novel takes on a completely different course. By the end of the novel, I was speechless. This book is extremely fast paced. This book is extremely fast paced. There is really no “down time” for the reader; the action is continuous. I truly could not put this book down.

I also really enjoyed the translation of this novel. Many novels that have been translated I find can sometimes be jumbled at times, and rightfully so; however, this was not the case at all with this novel. The writing flowed easily and I remained completely engaged throughout its entirety.

I will not say anything more, as I do not want to give away any plot points, but believe me when I say, this is a book that you will want to be reading. If you have it on your list, move it to the top and if it isn’t, you’ll want to add it. While you are doing that, you may as well add his other novels to it as well. I know I am.

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