Book Review: Trespassing: A Novel

March 14, 2018

Trespassing: A Novel cover

I hope that everyone is having a good week, regardless of
how it is being spent.

Things have been going fairly well here, aside from a few
issues, and I am still able to do the things I enjoy.

With the troubles of a lot of preorders being rescheduled
for either later in the month or after the seasons officially change, I was
expecting this month to be a little dead, and I decided to try out a title that
I could get my hands on for free.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Trespassing: A Novel by Brandi
Reeds.

Veronica Cavanaugh is a woman living a somewhat ordinary
life with her husband and her daughter, trying to have a large family, with
little success.

However, after a family therapist, in order to find out what
is going on with her daughter, she finds out that her daughter has been telling
something that makes it sound like her husband died and Mr. Cavanuagh
disappears shortly after, with only mysteries that end up making Veronica a
person of interest in a police investigation and she is determined to prove her
innocence.

While I was kind of suspicious of Amazon's offering of free
ebooks each month, I remember how the sources other than the usual lead me to
the first two works of a writer I really liked, so I thought I would take
another gamble on something kind of different.

And after reading this, I can say that I kind of liked this
book.

After reading through the first few pages of this book, I
found myself engrossed enough that I did not really want to stop reading,
though there were a few annoyances.

One of the most important things a good work of fiction
needs is a way to pull the audience into the work relatively quickly by have a
well-written beginning, before delving right into the plot, and Brandi was able
to deliver in this aspect fairly well.

Now, I would not necessarily consider how things start off
in this to be the best way of opening up a story, because it comes across as
something more of a story that would attract female readers, with its feeling
of something that many would believe a female would experience in a fantasy of the
married life, than something with a broad appeal, but there were at least
things that could draw me in, like how the conversation with the therapist went
and the things surrounding an imaginary friend, which helped to give me something
to latch onto.

If the start did not have anything, aside from the things considered
a woman's fantasy, I would have been pretty disappointed, because it would have
not been able to draw in people, other than those wishing that their husband or
significant other would do the things that they read about in this book, and
come off as something meant only for women, even if I suspect that the female
audience is the targeted demographic of this work.

Fortunately, things did not end up like that, and it makes
me want to give Brandi some applause job well done, though not quite as much as
I would have given somebody like Agatha Christie.

Hopefully, Brandi can figure out how to write things in a
way that will attract people quicker than she did in this book, so that she can
truly shine, but, knowing that she is only human, it might be a while before
she can truly stand on the same level as the other great writers out there,
regardless of whether they are dead or alive.

I also liked how I was able to find myself on the edge of my
seat throughout most of the book.

When I found this book over in Amazon's selection of free
books for the month, for Prime members, I noticed that Amazon listed this as a
work of suspense, which is considered a subgenre of thriller, I was expecting
to have many of the same feelings one would expect from a thriller, with a
stronger emphasis on the feeling of suspense than surprise, anticipation, or
excitement, and I was able to find that within the pages, along with the
feelings of anxiety that I still expect to find in a work of suspense, by
providing that need of an element of mystery that works of thriller need to
have.

Fans of suspense and thriller expect to see certain things in
the works they like to pursue, and while they might be kind of similar to what fans
of the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres would like to see, such as
misdirection, the main focus of those two genres is to present certain feelings
in the readers, whereas the fans of detective, mystery, and crime fiction want
to see good mysteries that baffle them and make them want to learn the truth
themselves, and Brandi seems to understand this quite well, by making seemingly
feel the same kind of feelings that Veronica, the protagonist, experienced
throughout the course of the book.

If she had failed to deliver these feelings in this book, I
would have been so disappointed that I would have considered her to be nothing
more than an amateur, even though is not her first book, according to the bio
featured in the book, because many of the things that make works in the
thriller genre, and likewise the suspense genre, so good also help to create good
works of fiction and without those elements, it would be next to impossible to
create a great work that anybody enjoy, even if a book delivered a message.

Thankfully, she was able deliver what the things a fan of
suspense expects to see, and that makes me feel like giving her a nice round of
applause.

Hopefully, Brandi would be able to continue delivering
decent work, though I probably would not try any of her other work any time
soon, due to the feeling that her primary target might be females and how the words
go together, because I would rather see writers succeed and deliver something
that many can enjoy than see them completely and utter ruin their career.

Another nice thing about this book how things that were not
completely relevant to the plot were interesting.

One of the things that I hated about The
Whistler
, which was the first work I read that could be definitively
defined as a thriller, was that only the things that were relevant to the plot
were even remotely interesting and this trend throughout that book made me want
to actually sleep through the events, though I cannot do that with a book, like
I could a movie, and contributed to why I hate John Grisham with almost every
fiber of very being.

Readers, regardless of whether they are casual readers or
avid readers, want to be fully immersed in a book, and that can only happen if
none of the elements found inside them come off as mundane as they do in real
life.

While I cannot think of too much that happened in this book
that could be considered irrelevant, almost everything did seem to be
interesting enough to hold my attention far better than John Grisham ever
could, and that makes me feel like I did not waste my time in giving this book
a chance.

If Brandi had not made things seem as interesting as they were
in this book, I would have been greatly disappointed because she seems to know
how to start off a story with some thing kind of ordinary, like a visit with
therapist, have some intrigue to it, and the change in things suddenly becoming
dull would have been more of a sign that the beginning was more of a fluke than
something that came from an accomplished writer.

Fortunately, that did not happen, and I can at least leave
with a bit more satisfaction from reading this book.

Hopefully, Brandi can continue to make sure that things stay
interesting the whole way through her future works, because I can see that she
is not that bad of a writer, even if she is not quite at a point where I could
consider her to be one of the best writers I have come across.

The thing that I liked the most though was the ending did not
feel like it was dragged on.

Other than a horrible beginning or a terrible ending, the
thing that can really hurt a work of fiction, regardless of whether it is a
standalone work, like this one, or a series, is if things do not end at the
right point and seemingly stretch on beyond what is needed.

While I can only think of maybe one book, called Jezebel's
Ladder
, where this was really an issue, as the epilogue relied heavily on
me having to enjoy being around characters that had nothing that made them
interesting, it still something that I have encountered while reading various
different manga series and watching numerous anime, and endings that seemed to
take too long really end up hurting my enjoyment, and would likewise make it so
that others would also have a difficult time rating this book too highly.

After all, a dragged out ending is not a satisfying ending,
and a satisfying ending is what helps make an impression on readers, thus
giving them reason to check out more of the writer's other works.

In the case of this book, after things got wrapped up, they
really did feel like everything was neatly wrapped up and I was actually
feeling a little happy that the characters in the book got the ending that they
deserved, instead of creating the illusion that things were over and then
trying to tell the reader that there is more out.

If Brandi had failed to end the story when she did, I would
have been angry because I would have felt that my time would have been wasted,
which would have cost her the readership that she was able to build up over the
course of her, as no reader wants to have their time wasted.

Fortunately, that did not happen here, and I can at least
walk away from this book with some satisfaction.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that would have been able to stand out as
much as what I already talked about.

Because my attention was captured relatively quickly and
held right up to the end, thanks to there being things that could make me
intrigued, the things I expected from a work of suspense, such as the stronger
emphasis on suspense, were present, ordinary events did not feel dull and
mundane, and things felt like they actually were wrapped up in the end, this
was a fairly decent read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor too talk
about, such as typos, and things that I already made note of, such as the lack
of appeal outside of what seems to be the target demographic, there was only
one thing that kind of bothered me.

This book was a bit too predictable.

Now, some of you guys might be screaming, saying that this
book is a work of suspense, and like its parent genre of thriller, it might not
be known to really throw the audience for a loop like detective, mystery, and
crime fiction, but predictability can still hurt a work, especially by how
things are executed, and this book fell more along the lines of being horribly
predictable.

Back towards the beginning and middle portions of the book,
I was having a ton of questions that I was expecting to see, as well as bouts
of irrationality that did make quite a bit of sense, though not to the degree that
I would this book would be able to help understand humans better, and I was
quite enjoying myself, as was trying to think about what many of the various
possibilities could be occurring, but once things shift over to Florida, the
location of the final stretch, I could tell quite well who was not part of the
grand conspiracy that was driving the book along and could see how they might
play a role in the end.

Works of suspense might not need surprises as much as other
works categorized as thrillers, but this is something that should not happen in
the genre because it kills the things that should have had a stronger emphasis
than other thriller works, and Brandi does not seem to fully understand this
because she only makes these characters have only one or too suspicious things
about them that would have made them nothing more than red herrings in an
investigation.

If she were able to make me feel much more suspicious about
the characters featured in the latter portion of the work than just something
that seems fishy, I might have been able to enjoy the whole book more, and been
much more willing to check out some of her other work, though I am not as put
off by her as I am with John Grisham.

Unfortunately, she did not do that, which makes it hard for
people with the kind of basic understanding of humans that fans of detective,
mystery, and crime fiction have to truly be able to enjoy this, some of whom
make check this out because thriller and mystery works are usually grouped
together in stores.

Hopefully, Brandi will be able to improve in this aspect in
the future, because she does seem like somebody that does have some talent for
writing, but there is always the chance she might continue to fail in this area
of writing.

Thankfully, this was the only thing that really bothered me,
so I can leave Brandi with her dignity in tact, and keep the possibility open
for me check out more of her work.

While there was only thing that was not that great about
this book, it was not bad enough that it would hurt the quality or enjoyment of
the book too much.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and not too
much to hate, this was definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to female fans of suspense and
thriller, as they will be able to enjoy this the most and the female
demographic seems the audience Brandi Reeds primarily targets.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but the
stereotypical man and those that are keenly aware of things like red herrings
and/or read extensively might not be able to enjoy this too much.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider either supporting me on Patreon or buying
the reviewed title
from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many
countries around the world, so I can find more worthwhile books for you guys to
read.

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