Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Hesitation Cut

Author: Giles Blunt
Genre: Suspense, Canadian
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 308
Source: Random House Canada
Publisher: Random House Canada
First Published: August 18, 2015
First Line: "There are many farms amid the hills that roll from New York City to Rochester, and on one of these farms a bell was ringing at the unconscionable hour of 4:45 a.m."

Book Description from GoodReadsMaster crime novelist Giles Blunt is back with a standalone novel of penetrating psychological suspense. Turning the screw tighter on every page, he delivers an intricately plotted story of jealousy and obsession that rivals the best of Patricia Highsmith and Gillian Flynn.

Nothing could be more serene than the life of Brother William, a young Benedictine monk who had turned his back on the world ten years earlier to retreat to a monastery in upstate New York. But then Lauren Wolfe, a troubled young poet, comes to use the library to research a book on Heloise and Abelard; one sight of the faint scars from a failed suicide attempt on Lauren's wrist is enough to turn the monk's life upside down. 

Every suppressed romantic impulse rises to the surface: his desire to rescue and soothe her trumps his vows of obedience, poverty and chastity. Soon he is simply Peter, a gentle young man who has followed his beloved to New York City because he needs to look out for her, as sincerely as he once pursued his calling.

Of course, just because you love doesn't mean your love will be returned. Just because your intentions are good doesn't mean you'll achieve what you intend. No one illuminates the extreme psychological states this tale of obsession explores better than Giles Blunt. And no reader will ever see the end coming...

My Review: Giles Blunt is an award winning author of the Algonquin Bay mystery series.  He is touted as a Canadian 'master crime novelist' so I went into this book expecting a suspenseful read.  The Hesitation Cut was a good read and deals with some serious issues.  It kept my interest but instead of a suspenseful read it was more of a character analysis of Peter, a character whom I struggled to connect with.

I think a lot of my feelings stem from the fact that I didn't love either of the main characters, Peter or Lauren.  They were both quite wounded and on self-destructive downward spirals with no end in sight.  That's a dark place to be.  From a psychological perspective, the description of Peter's life was interesting but I couldn't fully get behind some of his motivations or his decisions which felt haphazard and unrealistic.

Overall this was a well written dark read about two troubled people with some rather extreme sexual and violent scenes.  It's a story about obsession and a subjective view of love and jealousy. While it isn't perhaps for the faint of heart it is an interesting read.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Disclaimer:  My sincere thanks to Random House Canada for providing me with a complimentary paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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