Thursday, November 9, 2017

Beneath the Surface by Sibel Hodge (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Dean Hudson didn’t look evil…so what could drive an ordinary boy to kill?

When the teenage son of Holly Gold’s school friend brutally murders his parents before killing himself, her sleepy home town is rocked by the sudden tragedy.

Appalled, Holly investigates. What could have caused the happy-go-lucky boy she remembers to commit such a heinous crime? When another teen commits suicide, she uncovers a horrifying link between the recent deaths and a dark conspiracy to hide the truth.

But someone doesn’t want Holly asking questions and, as she hunts for evidence to prove her theory, she’s dragged into a nightmare that threatens her life and her sanity. Then tragedy strikes again—and this time it’s closer to home…"

My Thoughts:

I requested this book from NetGalley because this author has been on my radar for some time now and I wanted to give her a try.  I had high hopes for this book because that premise had me intrigued instantly.  Ultimately though I was left with some mixed feelings on this book.  I think that I would classify it as a good read but I had a few issues with it.  I'm telling you this right off the bat so I don't spoil anything for anyone further on.  I will try to not to go into specifics but you know how that all goes.  This book is going to be hard to discuss without giving a few things away so reader be warned - don't read any further if you don't want to possibly read a spoiler.

One of the things that I liked about this book was the look at prescription drugs.  It isn't often that you read a thriller that is based on such a serious and real issue.  I felt like I was learning while I was reading which doesn't usually happen unless I'm reading a nonfiction book.  Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that a lot of what was included in here is pretty accurate which makes it even worse to think about.  Prescription drug use is a very hot topic and one that is just so scarily real.  I also like how fast paced and intense this book was.  It kept me reading even when I didn't necessarily want to.  The thing was I really didn't care much for Holly.  Holly made me crazy and reminded me slightly of Rachel from The Girl on the Train.  She wasn't as bad thankfully - but she made me all of these stupid decisions and a lot of it was based off of her drinking.  I just couldn't relate to her which always seems to hurt my reading experience.  I just didn't ever warm up to her - even by the end of the book I was pretty meh in regards to her character.  The other thing that really took away from my reading experience was the death of a certain character.  I won't give away who or anything but I almost stopped reading this book because of it.  I kind of felt betrayed as this was one of the few characters that I actually related to - it just really took me out of the book when that happened.  I decided to keep reading though because by that point I was invested and needed to see how the story would end.  I liked the way that everything was wrapped up and really this is why I found this book to be a good read overall.  Not my favorite by any means but I found it to be good enough for at least three stars.  And really, my feelings on this book were completely personal - I could see other readers enjoying this one much more than I did.  

Even now after writing up my thoughts, this book managed to really stir up some strong feelings on it which is always a sign of a decent read.  I would definitely be open to reading more by this author.  I'm actually really curious now to go read other reader's thoughts on this book to see what they thought.  I try not to read reviews until after I've written up my own thoughts but I will probably go check Goodread's soon.  This book was definitely not what I was expecting and overall I think that it is a solid three star read.  Recommended but with a few hesitations.

Bottom Line:  A good read but one that I didn't love.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.


  1. I have this one too so I sort of skimmed a bit of the middle of your review. I'm sorry it wasn't a more exciting read but I like that the author at least brings in some very topical issues to the storyline!

  2. oh man I am sorry that you didn't care for the MC I can see why that would not work for you, but the fast pace is good, I like fast pace


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