Book Review: Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
Genre: Thriller / Dark Humor
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publish Date: February 23, 2016
Format: Hardcover | 448 pages
Rating: 5 of 5
From the Publisher
In the compulsively readable follow-up to her widely acclaimed debut novel, You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”
Hidden Bodies marks the return of a voice that Stephen King described as original and hypnotic, and through the divisive and charmingly sociopathic character of Joe Goldberg, Kepnes satirizes and dissects our culture, blending suspense with scathing wit.
About the Story
Joe Goldberg is back, and he’s just as charming and obsessive as ever. Now he has a new love interest, Amy, and he vows not to make the same mistakes he made in the past with Beck.
Amy seems perfect for Joe, and he tell her so. But the feeling isn’t mutual, and when she steals from him and runs off to Los Angeles, the stalking, murderous instincts re-emerge in Joe. He discovers that she has left New York for Hollywood and has signed up for acting classes. Joe is soon on his way to California to find her and make her pay for what she has done to him. But things are never simple for Joe. He soon becomes involved in a new relationship — Joe may have finally met his match.
The story begins right where the first book, You, left off with the same fast pace and quick wit. It is written from Joe’s point of view so we are always aware of his thoughts and motivation. And that is what makes this such a great book. When we get into Joe’s head, he becomes likable, literate, and seductive in spite of all his faults. Yes, literate, he loves books. He works in a bookstore and appears to lead a normal life. Until you get to know him.
There was a bit of a slow spot in the middle of the story after Joe moved to Los Angeles and we meet a new group of characters, but it soon picked up again with the same dark humor, murderous thoughts, a few bodies, and a quick pace. The plot makes frequent changes in direction and just when I thought I knew where it was headed, we were off on a new course — and ultimately headed for a surprising ending.
Joe is one of the most compelling characters I’ve ever met. I wasn’t so much horrified by what Joe was thinking and doing as I was at the thought that there are people like him walking the streets and appearing normal. Joe was so needy and charming that I came dangerously close to rooting for him. Well, at times I was rooting for him! And then it was back to feeling creepy.
As in the first book, there is some explicit sexual content and more than a few swear words. It fits the character of Joe and his warped thoughts, but I felt it deserved mention. There is satire and social commentary accompanied by some biting dark humor. This isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of those books you won’t know you like until to try it.
While there is enough explanation of events in the first book to make this readable as a standalone, I don’t recommend it. And once you read the first chapter, you are completely spoiled for book one. Read You first! Even better, listen to the audiobook, it’s fantastic.
Although this was one of my first reads of the new year, it has definitely made it on to my 2016 favorites list.
Source: Review copy provided by Atria Books
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.