I’m BACK! For real this time!! I’m so excited to be back in the reviewer rotation, you all really have no idea! It felt so great to be reading a book that I chose and on my Kindle instead of a textbook. Yay!
My first soiree into fun fiction since school ended was Monday’s Lie by Jamie Mason. (You can find my review of Mason’s debut novel, Three Graves Full, which I chose as my runner-up Best Reads of 2013 title, here.)
Here are the details of Mason’s latest:
I had a lot of trouble writing this review. I’ll admit, I’m a little out of practice, but this book seemed really unique to me. There were some things I liked and some things I didn’t like. First of all, it is a straight up mystery and suspense novel, so if you need romance (which I don’t), you may not love it. That part I did like, although the mystery aspect was a little different as well. It is clear from the very beginning that Dee’s husband wants her dead. So the mystery of the whole book is why he wants her dead, and what happened to turn their conventional marriage into this death wish. That sounds pretty exciting right? Well, it is…but you have to have A LOT of patience to get there.
The story starts on a Friday with Dee about to confront a suspenseful situation. From there, it backtracks to the beginning of the week, then shifts back and forth between a slow progression of the present week and big chunks of flashbacks to her childhood with her mother and brother. The confusing timeline made it difficult for me to keep track of what the present was and what was in the past.
Still, I’m glad I stuck with it (as I always do) because it got more exciting as the story approached Friday and the plot lines merged back into the present. I know a few people who tried getting into Monday’s Lie only to DNF it. The biggest downside to this novel is that it is a slow starter that builds as it goes, and it does take some patience to get to the point of being hooked. It definitely happened for me, though; the last third of the book was excellent and I couldn’t put it down! Luckily, I never DNF a book, so it was a good book match for a reader like me.
Mason is an excellent writer. The verbiage she uses always creates an elaborate picture so that even a description of something mundane becomes a masterpiece. I could really feel the intentionality behind her writing.
The relationship between Dee and her mom was a really lovely aspect to the story line. Annette Vess (Dee’s mom) was some sort of private covert ops employee, always swept away on missions. She’d taught her children, Dee and Simon, about observation and other investigative tactics by making them into games. Dee went back and forth between pure love for Annette to some resentment at her unconventional childhood and the things her mother taught her being permanently imprinted in her mind.
Dee’s husband, Patrick, is someone she’s been with since college. She chose him because she thought he could give her the predictable life she never had growing up. There were glimpses of them growing apart and their marriage not going very smoothly. Apparently with the addition of money, that equals killing your wife?! There was a little bit of a disconnect there for me; I felt like Patrick jumped to an extreme I wasn’t quite ready for. I maybe would have understood it better had I seen more of a manipulative or hateful side…but that wasn’t really there.
As I mentioned above, the best way to describe this one is unique. It’s a private detective, secret agent, mystery, suspense novel. It’s nonlinear and moves backward and forward at the same time. The characters were unique – I don’t think I’ve ever read characters like Annette or Dee before, which I totally appreciated – and the plot lines were brilliant as well. Mason also leaves the end of the novel open for a sequel, which could be great!Bottom Line
Monday’s Lie is a simmering suspense novel with some mystery to it. It’s interesting and unique with some odd character developments. While some things work really well, others get a little confusing. It is a slow starter, but if you’re okay with a lot of backstory leading up to the excitement and can commit to sticking with it, you won’t be disappointed.
Rating: C+ (3½ stars)
Wine/Beverage Pairing: Red Wine Sangria – a great summer drink! A good mix of fruitiness and alcohol that will keep the taste buds guessing.Buy Digital: Kindle | Nook Buy Print: Amazon | B&N
Another Title By Jamie Mason
Three Graves Full
(2013 Library Journal Best Book; 2013 Booklist Best Crime Novel)
I thought Monday’s Lie was pretty unique all around, from the characters to the relationships and even the timeline. Hit the comments and tell me about a book you thought was one of a kind.