I was very excited to read another Rachel Abbott novel after I read The Back Road. When I wrote my own review of the book and read some other people's reviews, many of them had mentioned it wasn't as good as her first novel. While I disagreed with some of the reviews I read, I was curious to see how good Only the Innocent would be if they felt The Back Road paled by comparison.
Should I have guessed they would be as wrong about the comparison as they were in their reviews? I suppose I should have, but...they all seemed SO excited about that first novel. Because of that, I was anxious to read it. It had to, at least, be as good as the one I'd read. Right? Wrong.
To say I was disappointed in Only the Innocent would be an understatement. The novel did not flow as well as the first one I read, and I didn't care about the characters. I also found it boring to find out 'the back story' from one of the characters reading another character's old letters that she hands her to read instead of just telling her. I found myself cringing every time I saw italicized writing, which indicated another letter. I figured out what 'the mystery' was too soon, and I only finished the book out of respect for the author. I mean, I knew she could write a good novel, as she did with The Back Road. I kept thinking the book would redeem itself by the end. As much as it pains me to say it, it didn't.
I usually try to keep from giving anything away about the plot when I blog. It's usually difficult for me because I get so excited about a book I like that I want to talk about it. I don't have that problem with this one. Truth be told, I'd like to forget the story all together. No, seriously. I really would.
You see, I don't care for novels that revolve around sexual abuse and/or perversion. I'm not giving anything away by saying this, as the novel starts off with it. And I'm not talking about a little "slap and tickle" here, folks. I'm also not talking about two consenting adults engaging in a little kink. Abuse is abuse. The more you read, the more warped it gets. Not my cup of tea.
I have been scratching my head for the past couple of days, since I finished the novel, trying to figure out why this book was so popular with Amazon reviewers. I have my theories, of course, but none that I wish to express here. Some thoughts are just better kept to ourselves. And some books are just better off forgotten.
Now that I've given you the bad news, let me give you the good news...
Only the Innocent was Abbott's first novel. The Back Road was her second novel. Since she greatly improved from her first novel to her second, I'm thinking her third must be even better than the second! I'm glad I didn't read her first novel first, as I would never have read another. I am quite hopeful about this third novel and not ready to give up on this author.
I am currently reading two other books but, when I am finished with those, I look forward to reading Abbott's Sleep Tight and hoping to find what I found on The Back Road - suspense, intrigue, and a good mystery that needs solving!
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