ARC, Book Review, Crime and Thriller, Fiction

Book Review: The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens

The Other Side of Everything

Author: Lauren Doyle Owens

Publisher: Touchstone

Genre: Mystery, Fiction

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Blurb (as on Goodreads):

Laura Lippman meets Megan Abbott in this suspenseful literary debut about three generations of neighbors whose lives intersect in the aftermath of a crime.

Bernard White is a curmudgeonly widower who has lived in Seven Springs, Florida for decades and has kept to himself since his wife passed. When his neighbor is murdered, he emerges from his solitude to reconnect with his fellow octogenarians. These connections become a literal lifeline as a second, and then a third, elderly woman is murdered, and “the originals” as they call themselves, realize that they are being targeted.

Amy Unger is an artist and cancer survivor whose emotional recovery has not been as successful as her physical one. After the woman next door is murdered, she begins to paint imagined scenes from the murder in an effort to cope with her own loss. But when her paintings prove to be too realistic, her neighbors grow suspicious, and she soon finds herself in the crosshairs of the police.

And then there’s Maddie Lowe, a teenage waitress whose mother recently abandoned the family. As Maddie struggles to keep her family together and maintain the appearance of normal teenage life, she finds herself drawn to the man the police say is the killer.

As they navigate their increasingly dangerous and tumultuous worlds, Bernard, Amy, and Maddie begin to uncover the connections between them, and the past and present, in a novel that ultimately proves the power of tragedy to spark renewal.

 

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A book that takes the word “Everything”  literally and for granted.

Old women are being murdered and no one has the faintest of the clue about who the murderer is. So all the old people in the town, who call themselves ‘The Originals’, team up to keep themselves safe and to identify the killer. In the meantime, Amy Unger gets disturbing visions about the murder and the murderer. For someone, who hasn’t finished a painting in three years, Amy finds there dreams extremely disturbing and decides to paint them.

With multiple deaths and multiple suspects, this story claims to be a thriller. Two third of the book goes perfectly well. There’s mystery, confused folks, scared folks etc. There is also a detailed description about each of the characters, their present, past and future, including their habits and affairs. For me, this novel passes more as a community book rather than a mystery. It’s very bland for my taste. The killer is unpredictably creepy and a surprise, because he is basically absent throughout. He suddenly appears out of nowhere, and hence the author fails at maintaining the thrill throughout the plot.

The only way this book wins for me is the bunch of old people, who are adorable at heart and trying so hard to be happy and forget the tragedies of their life. Also, the author’s need to justify every character and give them a happy ending is evident.

Overall, this was a family drama and murder mystery crossover, mildly entertaining and mostly confusing.

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens”

  1. It’s sad it couldn’t impress as a mystery thriller that it claimed to be, though I’m happy you enjoyed it for the characters. Many a times. characters keep binding us to the book even when the story as such doesn’t thrill us much. Loved this review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no, I am sorry you didn’t really enjoy reading this book! I hope your next book a lot more. It sounds like this one would be a bit too confusing for me to read and enjoy…

    Liked by 1 person

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