I received this first chapter through Pump Up Your Book for Rebecca Reid's The Coop virtual book tour.
BLURB: A psychological thriller about the destruction of innocence.
Enter The Coop, a dark and mysteriously misleading psychological thriller.
A girl, apparently imprisoned in a room, is the thread of mystery running parallel to the tale of Thatchbury village.
Meet Howard and Lilly. They take you on a journey through Thatchbury where Mathew, the child from the coop, shoots Jodie Tiding, and so unravels the history of his loveless raising, her innocence and the dramatic events leading them to disaster.
The Coop is a darkly compelling vision of the layers of consciousness. Although conceived as the first novel in a trilogy, The Coop stands alone as a brilliant individual work of fiction.
COVER: Dark, Disturbing. Perfect for the genre.
FIRST CHAPTER: The chapter opens with the mysterious she. You don't know who she is or why she is there. You don't even know her name. But you know her circumstances are bad.
The story swiftly moves to Howard and Lilly. You witness a day of their life in the village and catch a glimpse of their quirks.
KEEP READING: I would need to proceed to the second chapter to be certain. Like some psychological thrillers, the style of the writing here lends itself to confusion. You're not quite sure what's going on and how--or if--any of the pieces you just read connect. If you hadn't read the synopsis of the novel before starting the book, the mysterious she in the beginning would seem totally out of place.
Reid paints great pictures for her reader with the details she includes. You feel the cold, the dampness, you get a chance to walk in the garden with Lilly, and you take a dip with Howard and Lilly in the river. The one challenge, and the reason I need to read further before making a decision on if I would read to the end, comes from the feeling that I couldn't connect with any of the characters. The girl remaining nameless means I can't fully sympathize with her. I'm frightened for her, but I don't care enough about her yet to be sympathetic. The majority of the first chapter is about Howard and Lilly. We meet them at the beginning of the day, with Lilly crawling out of bed and joining Howard, who is cooking breakfast. This portion is heavy on narrative, light on dialogue, and there is a fair amount of backstory. This works for the genre, as you really need to see where characters have come from to understand how they got where they are. For a character-driven reader such as myself, however, I was searching for something to latch onto that made me want to care about them, and didn't find it.
All that said, I would read the next chapter to hopefully find that connection I am seeking and to begin putting those pieces together that will help unravel the mystery, because the synopsis has intrigued me.
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I received the first chapter of this book from the author's representative. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.