Friday, April 12, 2013

Fear in the Sunlight, by Nicola Upson

In 1936, Josephine Trey spent some time at a resort with her friends, interacting with famous film director Alfred Hitchcock.  Hitchcock wants to buy Josephine's novel to make it into a film, so the goal of the weekend is to convince her to seal the deal.  Events take several odd turns, ending up with dead bodies.  It seems like an open and shut case, but many years later the truth is revealed.

I really struggled with this book, for a few different reasons.  We know from the beginning that a murder crime has occurred, but after its first mention, it is not even hinted at again for about 100 pages.  That made the book really plod along in my opinion.  It took so long to get to the action, that by the time the action started occurring, it was pretty lackluster.  Also, there were entirely too many characters for my taste.  I had an incredibly difficult time keeping the characters, and their multitudinous secrets, straight.  I felt like none of the characters were very well developed, which was part of the reason I could not keep them straight.  It has been one full day since I finished the book, and already, I have forgotten most of the characters and their details, because to me, they just were not memorable.

I thought the concept of Alfred Hitchcock as a character was going to be really cool, but I was a little disappointed.  Perhaps I was too colored by the public image of Hitch, but I just had a hard time imagining him saying the things he did in the book.  I feel like, as a person, he had a pretty distinctive voice, and I was not convinced that was captured in the book.

The book does a great job of setting the scene, to me this was probably its biggest strength.  I loved the setting, and the role it played in the story.  It has the perfect combination of luxury and creepiness to make the perfect ambiance for the story.  The book seems much like a traditional mystery book, which may account for my inability to really connect (I prefer contemporary mysteries and thrillers).  It is also one in a series, and having never read the previous books in the series may have altered my opinions as well.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours, in exchange for my honest opinion.  See the rest of the tour here.



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