I love to read those books that keep you guessing until the very end. I am always trying to figure out who the villian is behind the mask while I watch my horror movies and I do the exact same thing while I’m reading. This book keeps you guessing with all of these crazy clues and red herrings until the very end of the book.
To be as transparent as possible, I know the author of this book. Kyle and I worked together back in the day when I was in radio. I always enjoyed our chats and confided in him a lot when I needed advice or had questions. He is a great guy so when I saw on Facebook that he was writing a book, I couldn’t help but want to support him. I loved seeing his enthusiasm behind his work and as soon as he said it was avilalble, I bought it on Amazon and had it delivered to my Kindle. (To be completely honest, he doesn’t even know I’m reviewing his book on my blog.)
The description of this book is spot on: Most people have bad memories of regrettable things they did in high school… sins they hope have been erased with the passage of time. Few harbor as dark a secret as Joel Bradstreet. As a teacher at his alma mater, Joel hopes to keep the mistakes of his past there concealed. Instead, they may once again lead to inescapable and deadly consequences. As a high school senior, an unrequited crush and a bitter rivalry once lead Joel to a tragic graduation day confrontation. Years later, Joel suspects a set of recent deaths may not only be connected to a student he’s become involved with, but also to events from his youth. As the authorities investigate, Joel races to find his own answers and to keep the secrets of both his past and present hidden.
Hawkings Grove is a an amazing debut book. This book literally has two different story lines going on at the same time. The first story line is the story of what is going on in present day with Joel and what is happening around him. The second story line is Joel’s senior year of high school. Both stories take place at the same high school with interweaving characters and plots.
What I loved most about this book was how real it was and how the characters reacted to the situations they were presented with. The main character is trying his best to be a detective and to find out what is going on, mainly to save his own skin. He isn’t the nicest of guys and he isn’t the most ethical either, but you don’t hate him. You relate to him. There are scenes and situations that you could see how easily they would be to fall into and get tangled up in. As much as you may not like what he is doing, you don’t want to see him get caught at the end of the day.
The book mainly focuses on Joel but does a very good job at developing the other characters. I didn’t feel like I needed more of any of the characters and actually found myself wanting to learn more about Joel. The one issue I had with this book was that towards the end, the book felt like it was dragging just a bit. After the true story was revealed and the who-dun-it of the book was explained, I almost wanted that to be the ending, allowing the reader to explore their own imagination for different endings. Instead all of the loose ends are tied up and even some of the story lines continue on for a few more chapters. I almost wish there would have been one more dark twisted turn thrown in for good measure, but I also read twisted disturbing horror/thriller style books by the ton. I just enjoy those endings that inspire the reader to indulge in their own endings.
As I said earlier for a debut book, this book gets two huge thumbs up. Creative, well written, thrilling, haunting and entertaining as all get out, this book had me constantly grabbing my Kindle and finding a cozy spot while drinking insane amounts of tea. I’ve recommended this book to several people and hope that Kyle finds success with this book and continues to write. I would love to read another book by him.
This book will keep you guessing the ending until the very end!