Review: In The Blood
Lana Granger is a trust fund kid going to a small private college in a tiny town in New York. Lana is also very troubled (a chronic liar and mentally ill), an unreliable narrator and in my opinion, really unlikable. Lana takes a job babysitting an equally unlikable, eleven year old psychopath named Luke. Shortly thereafter her sort of best friend and love interest Beck disappears.
Over the course of the investigation into her friend’s disappearance, we come to realize just how much of a lie Lana’s life is and of course, worry about her safety – physically, and the safety of her carefully constructed fibs.
I did really enjoy the pace of this novel, the pages almost turned by themselves. I also really enjoyed that for a female author Unger wasn’t afraid to be horrifying. I don’t think I have the guts to write about an 11 year old psychopath tripping his grandmother down the stairs – but Unger does and more power to her.
But, for a thriller to be thrilling, you can’t see the twists coming miles away. The moment I began reading the diary entries I knew, and then the rest is kind of just tucking everything into place. There wasn’t a big surprise, no shocking moments, it was kinda – meh. This is my biggest complaint. By second is that there was too much coincidence and the characters behaved in ways that I don’t believe that people usually do in the given circumstances. Sorry to be vague but I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone who still wants to read it. When authors leave too much up to coincidence it feels lazy to me and it’s boring to read.
I enjoyed Unger’s turning of a phrase, I think she writes really beautifully. I didn’t even mind all the philosophizing about how society feels about girlish boys versus boyish girls. But in a thriller plotting is everything, and I feel like this book failed on that front in a major way.