It feels I’ve been reading crime and thriller novels without a break in the recent weeks.
But I can’t help it, they just read really quickly. There’s something about suspense novels that grips you and doesn’t let go. When Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton publishers sent me Did You See Melody, it went straight to the top of my to-read list.
Why are thrillers so popular?
If you ask me it’s for their complex storyline. It’s not just about a murder or a crime. There’s always something deeper and darker lurking in the background. This makes us, the readers, think harder, pay more attention to all the developments and there’s the thrill when you figure out what the twist was (if you manage to anyway).
I love thrillers because the well written ones keep you guessing. It’s almost impossible to pinpoint the perpetrator after a few chapters. And Did You See Melody delivers on that. I had no idea who the mastermind behind the crime was until the very end.
Did You See Melody – a Great New Thriller by Sophie Hannah
This book starts slowly. We meet Cara Burrows, an English mum and wife, who’s escaped to Arizona for a little break. After her exhausting trip, she finally arrives at the luxury spa resort (which she can’t really afford) and gets sent to a room already occupied by a man and a teenage girl. This is where problems begin.
The pace of the story soon picks up and trust me, it’s a real page turner. The storyline is interspersed with excerpts narrated by an anonymous person, although the reader has an idea who this is.
While I really enjoyed the crime and thriller aspect of the story, I loved how the author deals with press sensationalism. It’s very appropriate in the current times when press needs to be scrutinised and not always blindly trusted. The impact that a TV show has on how people see the truth, how easily the truth can be manipulated are for me the biggest and most important parts of this story.
As a person, who’s quite sceptical and always prefers to check real facts and expert opinions, I developed a very strong dislike of Justice with Bonnie’s presenter. But that’s what a good book does. It triggers emotions.
A Good Thriller Triggers Emotions
If a book I’m reading awakens certain emotions in me, that’s alwats a good sign. And Did You See Melody triggers plenty.
Cara Burrows made me sigh and roll my eyes too many times to count. She needed a break from her family, because she felt they don’t care about her or her wishes. Which I found completely silly. She kept asking her family questions and resented them for not asking back. Sorry for being vague, but I don’t want to spoil the book for you ☺ As far as I’m concerned Cara wasn’t the best communicator and her interactions with other people didn’t make me like her anymore. She comes across as someone who’s very easily bored by other people. Someone who interacts only when it suits them. Running away from her husband also makes her appear a bit childish as she’s running away rather than confronting the problem. Being like that also makes it really easy to create your own memory of events appear to be the only correct one.
A character I loved though, was Tarin Fry. A very outspoken American who’s Cara’s complete opposite. Tarin isn’t affraid to speak her mind, doesn’t worry what other people think of her and is willing to do whatever it takes to help people she cares about. Yes, maybe she’s a bit fame hungry, but she’s my kind of a strong female character.
All in all, the characterisation was done extremely well and the relationship between mother and daughter, Tarin and Zellie Fry, is a funny yet completely natural one. For me, they were the stars of the book.