January 26, 2018

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Cover Art Courtesy of  Goodreads
Well, it was bound to happen. I've had a pretty good reading month so far so I knew it was about time for a dud. Unfortunately it was this book. Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan had promise, but it just didn't deliver. Long Black Veil follows a group of friends who experienced a tragic event years ago and are now living with the consequences. After a night accidentally ends with the group trapped in Eastern State Penitentiary and one of them missing, the group drifts apart, only brought back together when the body is found years later.

Instead of being a mystery/thriller, this really was a story of a trans woman with the crime as almost an afterthought. Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem at all with trans characters and diverse representation, and I really love seeing more of them as main characters literature today. What I do have a problem with is a book masquerading as something that it's not, ultimately tricking the reader into picking it up only to be let down the further in they get. I was really looking forward to a good thriller, and because I was mislead, it left me with a bad taste in my mouth as I progressed through this book. If you go into it knowing that the main idea isn't surrounding the murder, but rather focuses on self-discovery and how to reconcile who you once were against who you are now, you might enjoy this story a lot more. Knowing what I do now, I can say that this was a great own voices novel, just not at all a good thriller.

The scenes that took place in Eastern State were excellent, and for the first almost half of the book I couldn't get enough. But that's where my enjoyment ended and boredom began. The ending was chaotic and hard to wrap my head around, but honestly by that point I didn't even care what happened. I did enjoy some of the character development, especially that of Rachel and Quentin/Judith, but I also thought some of the side stories were unnecessary. Another thing that really rubbed me the wrong way were the scenes regarding animal euthanasia. Maybe that's just me and my huge bleeding heart, but when I read things like that I'm immediately turned off.

I had high hopes for this book, but disappointingly it wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars (as a mystery/thriller, which is what it was advertised as)

Thanks to Blogging for Books for sending me a copy of Long Black Veil in exchange for an honest review!


Whispering Stories said...

It is so annoying when a book you hope will be great turns out not to be that interesting and you don't connect with it.

Nikki said...

Bummer! I hate when that happens.

Terri said...

Man, that stinks. It bugs me when I have high hopes for a book and it is less than stellar.

DJ Sakata said...

aaaaa - shucks, I always debate whether I should stick it out of DNF. I don't like wasting my time on books I don't enjoy, nor do I enjoy writing negative reviews, they are the hardest - but you pulled it off. Well done!

Kaitlin Krell said...

I appreciate it so much when I run across review that explain why they rate it like they did when the rating isn't high. It's wonderful that the representation of protagonists is growing, but mislabeling a book for that is a let down. A trans protagonist doesn't take away from a good thriller! Great review.

Norrie said...

Aww, how annoying! :(
I'm sorry it didn't live up to your expectations. I promised myself that if i come across a book i like, i will not finish it. I used to suffer through all books and it was a waste of time.

Katiria Rodriguez said...

Wow I am sorry this book was such a dud for you, here's hoping that you next book read is much better. Great review and thank you so much for sharing.

Megan said...

That is so sad :( I hate getting books that you think are going to be one thing and end up...not so much. But your review was very well done :)

Megan @ Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest

Wynne Katherine said...

I'm sorry this doesn't live up to your expectations. I hope your next read is better