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Saturday, December 1, 2018

REVIEW: Bleak Harbor by Bryan Gruley #allthebookreviews

Bleak Harbor
by Bryan Gruley

Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and Kaye Publicity for these copies!

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: December 1, 2018
378 Pages
Series: Bleak Harbor #1
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Their son is gone. Deep down, they think they’re to blame.

Summertime in Bleak Harbor means tourists, overpriced restaurants, and the Dragonfly Festival. One day before the much-awaited and equally chaotic celebration, Danny Peters, the youngest member of the family that founded the town five generations ago, disappears.

When Danny’s mother, Carey, and stepfather, Pete, receive a photo of their brilliant, autistic, and socially withdrawn son tied to a chair, they fear the worst. But there’s also more to the story. Someone is sending them ominous texts and emails filled with information no one else should have. Could the secrets they’ve kept hidden—even from one another—have led to Danny’s abduction?

As pressure from the kidnapper mounts, Carey and Pete must face their own ugly mistakes to find their son before he’s taken from them forever.

My Review:

When Carey and Pete's autistic son, Danny, goes missing, both start to panic as they assume their own sordid secrets could be to blame.  Already at a breaking point, where can their relationship go from here... and most importantly, how are they going to come up with this ridiculous amount of strange dollar amount to get him back?!

It takes about 65 pages in for the story to ramp up.  Even at this point I'm unsure where the plot it going.... but I'm super intrigued and need to find out what's going to happen.  We get introduced to a variety of characters, their back stories and how they may or may not be complicit in what is happening to Danny.  What I loved was how everyone was integrated and that we don't have one or three particular characters as part of the main plot line - really each character brings their own part.  

I'll be honest though -the reveal just did not work for me.  I wasn't particularly surprised about the main part and the reasoning behind it seems a tad bit ... elementary.  Maybe that's fitting for that particular character and I've certainly read and seen people do far worse things for a lot smaller reasons... however, this one just didn't quite push my AHA button.  Instead I was left a bit disappointed and wanting.

I do think those who like a more complicated plot that involves several characters and are more into the slower suspense will like this novel.  I think my timing was a bit off for this one and in the vast amount of thrillers that I read, this one just fell a bit subpar for what I typically prefer.


Jessica's Review:

I guess I'm kind of torn on this one. The premise was extremely promising and had my interest, but the execution of it is where things fell flat for me. I'm not say the writing wasn't good but the way the plot unfolded felt rushed at times and caused some confusion for me.

When their autistic son, Danny, goes missing a couple must face their secrets and try to find a way to get him back safely. What is the reason for his disappearance? Are either of their pasts to blame? Can their already strained relationship withstand the stress and secrets?

The beginning of the book has a slower pacing to it but then you become invested. I know that Chandra and I agree that we do not like the ending. I did enjoy the characters and their individual developments and roles they played in the story. Everyone intertwines and all have something to offer to the progression of the story. That was the saving grace for me - the author does a great job introducing new characters and giving us just enough to get to know them and their place in events.

Overall, I did enjoy the writing and the characters. This would probably be more of a suspense or drama for me as opposed to a thriller. The slower pacing is good to note before starting! This is perfect for those wanting the more slow burn suspense novel that has a more intricately woven plot.

3/5 stars

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