“He couldn’t go back there. He could never go back there. Whiskey brought his demons out to play.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
I consider myself a fan of Caroline Mitchell‘s detective thrillers, and there was just something about The Village that caught my eye immediately. The family missing without a trace, the whole village somehow hiding something… Spending time in Nighbrook sounded very much intriguing indeed. Now that I’ve had the chance to read this newest stand-alone, I’m surprised I found myself having mixed thoughts instead… Although it might just have been simply the wrong time for me to read this story.
The fact is: psychological thrillers and me somehow don’t tend to see eye to eye anymore, or at least when the story has a noticable domestic/family focus. I was hoping the whole mystery around the missing family would be enough to keep me intrigued, but while I still love the premise behind The Village, the execution was a bit lacking for me personally. I’m struggling to put my finger on the why, but it’s possible that these feelings had to do with my lack of connection to the characters. I wasn’t able to warm up to any of them, and I’m not sure some of their actions are all that credible… Especially Naomi was hard to like with her moving her new family into a house that is both falling apart and has a dark past; only thinking of herself and her obsession with the missing family case and the village. The story is mostly character-driven, so being unable to connect to any of them made it harder to stay invested in what was happening in Nighbrook.
The writing itself is solid, and makes it still easy to keep turning those pages despite a slower pace during most of the story. Some of the plot twists were very easy to guess, which was a bit of a disappointment… Although things did improve towards the ending both in pacing, plot and entertainment level. I’m not sure if how everything wrapped up was exactly credible, but it made for a surprise at least I guess… It took a long time for things to pick up though, and with the slower pace, unlikeable characters and lack of credibility I don’t think The Village is my favorite of her work. That said, part of the problem is most likely me as most (partly) domestic focused psychological thrillers and me don’t seem to get along all that well right now.