Karen M. McManus – One of Us is Next [REVIEW]

Title: One of Us is Next

Author: Karen M. McManus

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 378

Rating: 3.5/5

This is the sequel to One of Us is Lying, which I thought was just okay, but McManus’ writing style had evolved by the time that she wrote this and so the actual writing was stronger, although there were other aspects where it was much the same.

It follows a similar format to the first book, only in this case, someone is playing a game of Truth Or Dare where you can either take on a challenge or have one of your secrets spilled to the wider world. It also has a lot of the same characters from the first time round.

My biggest gripe with this book is something that doesn’t actually bother me as a reader, but which I’d pounce upon if I’d been called in to edit the book or asked for my opinion as a writer. I’m talking, of course, about the fact that this is presented as a whodunit and then when we get the big reveal, it turns out to be someone who hadn’t been mentioned before. I personally just enjoy the journey, but that’s not true of everyone.

If you can get past that then you might like this one, especially if you’re happy with a little bit of young adult mixed in with your thrillers. Sure, it’s not the most high-brow book you’re likely to come across, but it helps to pass the time.

That was good news for me because I happened to have a pretty bad abscess in my leg at the time. I’d gone to the minor injuries unit at my local hospital but was sent from there to A&E and then kept in overnight. I’d taken another book with me and picked this up as a backup, and I ended up reading the whole thing over the course of six hours or so while I was waiting to be seen.

That’s probably the best way to experience it, too. It helped to while away the hours but it also meant that I fell into the story and tracked it a little better than I normally do. So there’s that.

Learn more about One of Us is Next.


Patricia Highsmith – The Talented Mr. Ripley [REVIEW]

Title: The Talented Mr. Ripley

Author: Patricia Highsmith

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 268

Rating: 3.5/5

I whizzed through this book for the simple reason that I picked it up from a used bookstore in Stoke Mandeville hospital after I’d been admitted overnight because of an abscess in my leg. I had no idea that I’d be spending the night there and so I didn’t have enough books to see me through.

But it wasn’t as though I picked this up because there wasn’t any choice. I’d actually had my eye on it for a while in a vague sort of way, even though I had no idea what it was about. It turned out to be right up my street, a kind of crime/thriller novel with an antihero who’s going about bumping people off for his own financial gain.

True, I didn’t find Ripley to be likeable and so I was actively rooting for him to get caught, but that didn’t really hamper my enjoyment. It’s also the first book in a series, although it worked pretty well as a standalone and so I have no plans to ever continue. I’ll watch the movie, though.

It’s actually an interesting little book with a lot going for it, and while my enjoyment of it was only so so, I don’t think that’s the fault of the author. I think it’s more because of the position I was in at the time. I had nothing to do except to lie in bed with an IV in my arm while reading it.

Learn more about The Talented Mr. Ripley.