Book Review: Tell Me Why by Ruth O’Neill

Hello, my name is Judith! Welcome to my blog, ReadandReview.

This book was sent to me from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tell Me Why is a new novel by Ruth O’Neill. It follows Laura, who is longing for love. She meets Max, a seemingly charming man, and falls head over heels in love with him. However, Laura soon discovers Max is not the man she thinks he is, and Laura’s life is placed in danger.

I liked the ideas behind Tell Me Why: revenge, imprisonment, and manipulation. I’ve read other thrillers with similar themes such as The Collector by John Fowles, Underneath by Anne Goodwin, and Find Her by Lisa Gardner, and I would strongly recommend all three of these books to any interested in these types of thriller.

I also liked the tense and exciting scenes in the climax of Tell Me Why, as Laura attempts to escape from Max’s clutches.

However, there were a few things in Tell Me Why which, for me, missed the mark. For example, I thought the writing was too simplistic. In addition, the plot moves very quickly. If you fancy a short and fast thriller to read, Tell Me Why may suit you perfectly. Personally, the pacing was too fast and, as a consequence, the plot felt rushed. I would have preferred more time to get to know the characters better, and a longer, more drawn-out thriller.

Speaking of characters, I think they could have been developed further, in order for them to feel realistic and lifelike. Despite being the antagonist, for example, Max didn’t seem particularly evil or fearsome. Furthermore, Lauren, though a victim, wasn’t particularly sympathetic or likeable, as I knew little about her. As a result, I didn’t care very much about what happened to either Lauren or Max.

Overall, I think Tell Me Why is a commendable attempt at a psychological thriller, though there are areas in which I think it needs improvement.

Star Rating: 2/5 Stars

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Have you read this book? What did you think? 

Tell Me Why is currently available to download for free on Amazon until the 15th of February.

– Judith

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