Can I just say how much I hate book cover with peoples faces on them? It totally ruins my chance to visualize them like I want to and the people they choose always look like every single other person on a book cover.
Daniel Tate, the son of wealthy woman living in California, goes missing at the age of 10 while out riding his bike. The entire country wonders where he has gone. That is, until her turns up in Canada in what is assumed to be PTSD. Except, that isn’t actually Daniel Tate but a petty con-artist who has stumbled upon a project of a lifetime. As he lives in his new luxurious lifestyle, he finds out that the family he is living is hoarding secrets. Now that he is there, these secrets may cost him his life.
At the beginning I wasn’t really into this book. I understood that the main character (whose name we never find out) was a con artist but the whole lying to the reader thing was sort of over the top. I don’t know if the author was going for an unreliable narrator sort of thing but they gave it up like twenty pages into the book so I found it sort of unnecessary.
Everything in this book seemed extremely unlikely to happen. I don’t mind unrealistic things as long as they’re entertaining. The beginning of this book wasn’t. It was just me following a con artist doing impossible things. There was no thrill to it. When When Daniel’s siblings come pick him up, all the things that happened seemed impossible to be allowed. In short, it was just like watching some unsafe alternate reality. The FBI not doing anything about anything really threw me off.
As for the characters themselves, you can clearly see which ones were well thought out and which ones were rushed through. Some characters I found interesting to read about and others I aimlessly followed. There was a lot of suspense in this book but not much substance for it. Nicholas was mad at his traumatized brother because he was a brat? That’s stupid.
The romance seemed forced. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to be believe fake Daniel Tate fell in love so quickly when he’s spent his entire life hiding his emotions. And how is it coincidentally a social pariah and not someone in the ‘in’ crowd so he can fit in? If the love story was actually interesting, I might’ve let it pass, but it was just a cookie cutter love story. It seemed like the author added it in as an afterthought instead of a device that actually helps the plot develop. (At some point it does but it seemed too convenient.)
The whole intimacy between two of the siblings was actually very well done. I love big reveals that allow you to go back and realize that all the clues are there. Then again, I don’t think that was a big enough reason to kill their younger brother. Even if he wouldn’t shut up. It just seemed like a long stretch.
As for the ending, it was very anticlimactic. I was expecting some sort of closure but it was just… abrupt. Frankly I don’t think that Patrick would’ve been that careless but the rest of the book doesn’t scream realistic. It was a disappointing finish to a fast paced novel. Again, the author tried to deem the narrator untrustworthy and whatever but I wasn’t sure what was going on. The ending seemed rushed and messy.
Final Thoughts: An okay thriller if you just want to pass time.