Title: The Midnight Man
(Slayton Thrillers #1)
Author: Caroline Mitchell
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: October 13th 2021
Publisher: Embla Books
Finished reading: October 10th 2021
“What was it about Slayton that drew them all together, battle-scarred misfits for life?”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Embla Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
WARNING: unpopular opinion ahead!!
I consider myself a fan of Caroline Mitchell’s detective and psychological thrillers, so when I found out she was dipping her toe in the horror genre I simply couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to read the result. I loved the sound of the premise of The Midnight Man and I was fully expecting to love every minute of it… Imagine my surprise when I ended up having mixed feelings instead. Because there is one thing for sure: The Midnight Man sadly didn’t live up to expectations for me and lacked the wow-factor that I was hoping for. I’ll try to explain what did and didn’t work for me briefly below.
First of all I do have to say that I still love the premise and the idea behind the ‘midnight man’, the game and the supernatural vibe. Blackhall Manor makes for the perfect creepy backdrop and setting for the different events to take place. I do have to say that I would have loved to see it developed a bit more to make it feel even more ominous; more thorough descriptions would have made the story more ‘gothic’ and atmospheric as I feel that as it is its full potential hasn’t been reached.
The story uses a multiple POV structure, which is useful to add more dept to the story, but in this case I think there were too many. I struggled especially in the beginning to keep them apart, and I think that as a result of having to juggle so many different POVs most characters lack dept. I also think that the characters in general are not exactly likeable, and I was never able to make a connection to any of them. I do like flawed characters, but main character Sarah was mostly frustrating instead of intriguing. The whole mystery around what her husband did was over the top and ended in a complete anti-climax; to make it worse, it was hardly developed afterwards and kind of brushed under the carpet. I wasn’t sure about the tone in certain parts of the dialogues in general either, as for example the bullying and the Midnight Man POV came over as a bit childish.
The prologue started with a bang, and even the beginning of the story had me mostly intrigued as the events started taking place. Sadly, the story never reached that potential of the prologue for me, and I have to say that I found the plot to be rather dull and predictable in points. There were too many red herrings, and as a whole I don’t feel The Midnight Man was as scary as the blurb seems to promise. More focus on descriptions and Blackhall Manor as well as the Midnight Man and Elliot’s role could probably have helped the story, but as a whole I’m sorry to say that this ended up being a dud for me. I guess that it’s no surprise when I say that I won’t be continuing this series… I will be sticking to her usual stories instead.