Many thanks to Atria Books, via NetGalley, for a copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review.
3.5/5 stars (rounded up to 4/5)
I’ll be honest. For about the first 30% of this book, I got very frustrated and almost stopped reading it. The timeline seemed a bit off, and while that may partially be due to the translation, I’m still not entirely clear on when certain events took place.
However, at about 38%, the book really picked up. (And when I say that, I mean — it took me ~3 days to get to 38%, but then I finished the remaining 62% of the book in less than a day.)
I really thought that Arango’s portrait of Henry was interesting. He’s supposed to be sociopathic, but he was… I don’t know. Not your typical sociopath — because he was almost likable at some points throughout the book. He did good deeds — and not because he’d personally benefit from them — so I don’t really buy the “Henry is a true sociopath” story.
However, there were definitely sociopathic tendencies and some very sociopathic actions. Also, it was absolutely incredible the false stories that Henry wove around the death of his wife and subsequent scenarios that came about as a result of her death. Even though he is not a writer, he can still fabricate (and manipulate) with ease.
Although I did have a hard time at the start with the timeline of events, I ended up really enjoying this book. It’s definitely not a typical thriller, nor is it typical literary fiction, but a blend of the two. Arango makes this work very well, and I will definitely be on the lookout for other books by this author.