Title: One of Us
Author: Tawni O’Dell
Genre: Crime, thriller
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: August 19, 2014
Hardback: 304 pages
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
How did I get this book: Netgalley
NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Gallery Books for letting me read this.
Let’s start with a brief synopsis from Goodreads:
Dr. Sheridan Doyle, a fastidiously groomed and TV-friendly forensic psychologist, is the go-to shrink for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office whenever a twisted killer’s mind eludes other experts. But beneath his Armani pinstripes, he’s still Danny Doyle, the awkward, terrified, bullied boy from a blue-collar mining family, plagued by panic attacks and haunted by the tragic death of his little sister and mental unraveling of his mother years ago.
Returning to a hometown grappling with its own ghosts, Danny finds a dead body at the infamous Lost Creek gallows where a band of rebellious Irish miners was once executed. Strangely, the body is connected to the wealthy family responsible for the miners’ deaths. Teaming up with veteran detective Rafe, a father-like figure from his youth, Danny, in pursuit of a killer, comes dangerously close to startling truths about his family, his past, and himself.
What I thought:
This book took me a week and a half to read. If you follow my blog, you probably know that NOTHING takes me that long to read. I wanted to like this book more than I did. I love crime fiction and it has been way to long since I’ve read any that I really loved (Okay, I read and LOVED The Black Hour, but I don’t quite count that as crime fiction). I saw this on Netgalley and read that awesome summary and immediately requested it.
I didn’t connect with this book. I’m from a somewhat small southern town so I know people like the ones in Danny’s hometown (judgmental, small-minded, etc.) but this place felt foreign to me.
I felt really detached from Danny. By the end of the book I didn’t know him any more than I did at the beginning. There wasn’t a lot of development and I didn’t really connect with him as I kept reading. I didn’t get wrapped up in this story. He has panic attacks and is haunted by his sister? These weren’t developed as much as they could have been. I read how he felt, but I didn’t actually feel it. It’s definitely a slow burning book, so it takes a while for the book to begin to reveal any of its secrets. Once that started to happen, I did enjoy it a bit more, but it still took me a week and a half to read. I would pick it up and read a few pages and then put it down because I was…well, bored.
The book is really well-written though. O’Dell is good at what she does. There was a letter that I just HAD to know what it said. However, I felt that there were way too many descriptions of what people were wearing. Danny and the daughter of the local rich dude were described as wearing fancy clothes A LOT. I felt this added anything to the story. Honestly, it irritated me. Particularly because I don’t actually know what any of the clothes described look like.
I do think that some people will like this book. It just wasn’t for me.
The bottom line: To me, the description makes this book out to be a fast-paced thriller, maybe even one that’s a little psychological (I love psychological thrillers). Unfortunately, it was rather slow and I found it hard to connect with the story or any of its characters. It wasn’t a bad read though and the writing was pretty good.
Rating: 5 – take it or leave it
Reading next: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll