The List by Carys Jones

Posted On 6 July 2020

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TheListMy TL:DR Five Word Review : Psychological thriller.  Revenge or redemption.

The List is a book with a great premise.  A psychological thriller with a young woman who finds a list with her name on it, and upon closer examination she uncovers that the first two people named on the list are dead.  Is she next?

I have to say that this is a clever and well written novel. Part of the story certainly tackles a very dark issue that without doubt will have an impact on how some readers engage with the main character but certainly the revelations were intriguing and unexpected.

What I’m very conscious of whilst writing this review is the ease with which spoilers could ruin the read for others so I’m going to avoid anything related to the plot which may make this somewhat vague and perhaps raise more questions and than it answers.

I would say that this is a good read.  It’s a story with three different narrators.  Beth, Ruby and a.n.other mystery pov.  However, even though this is a good read, well written and definitely intriguing I wouldn’t say that I loved it which is an issue I’ve been giving some consideration to.

Beth has secrets in her past.  She has difficulty interacting with others, few friends and no family around her.  Her boyfriend Josh knows little about her in that respect but he’s a happy go lucky type of chap and doesn’t press the issue.  There is the list of course, and the strange way that Beth hides her actions from Josh.  Apparently, this relates to an incident with one of their neighbours where things escalated due to Beth being over-anxious and Josh is worried that she might go down a similar route over the list – leading her in fact to simply keep things even closer to her chest.

Basically, this tale is a twisted thing. It’s a story that gets into your head and more than that it gets into Beth’s head – and that’s the point really.  I think one of the things that I really took away from this is that the mind is a powerful thing and events and actions can appear to be one thing whilst really being something quite different

So, why didn’t this bowl me over quite as much as I expected.  Well, I feel bad that this didn’t wow me, and I did like it, certainly I had no hesitation in picking it up.  I think some of it boils down to me and the expectations I had when I started reading and this took a route that I hadn’t expected, strictly speaking the twists are really good but at the same time they made me rethink the way I felt about Beth, I also wasn’t totally won over by one of the character’s motivations.

In conclusion I enjoyed this even if it wasn’t quite what I expected.  It’s a book that gets into your headspace and it does make you think – I confess that I’m still thinking of certain elements of this now after sitting on the review for a few days and I wish I could be a little bit less secretive about what I give away.  Can you ever really escape your past?  Can you change?

So, there were slight pacing issues in the first half and then obviously the tempo picks up but if you want a good psychological read then this might work well for you.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 3.5 of 5 stars




12 Responses to “The List by Carys Jones”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    This sounds good! Pacing can definitely throw things off, especially for a thriller. But I like the sound of the surprises and the psychological head trip 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting but the more I think about it the more I like what the author did here.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Shalini

    Oh I thought it would fantastic from get-go. I bought it on its publishing day. Lovely review ❤️

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, you’re right, it did get off to a great start but then I felt the tension seeped out a little, for me, but, that being said I did really enjoy what the author did with this one taking it in a direction that I really didn’t see coming.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Tammy

    I love the idea, but it sounds like the author didn’t quite pull it off. I would be totally scared if I found a list like that with my name on it!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I think some of it is my own expectations. In fairness this book has stayed with me long after completion and I find myself more and more being impressed with the direction the author took – even if the ending was a little abrupt.
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    The premise sounds indeed like a potentially good one and I appreciate your difficulty in speaking about this book without giving away spoilers, but it would seem that the author did not completely manage to pull it off… Still, worth a peek 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, the more I think about this one,and I do find myself thinking about it even now, the more I think the author did very well going in such an unusual direction. Apart from the pacing at the start and the abrupt ending this was a good one.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Jules_Writes

    Great review, this is the type of book I’ve been enjoying recently.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Well, you might enjoy this one too – it definitely takes a direction I wasn’t expecting.
      Lynn 😀

  6. waytoofantasy

    Sorry this one wasn’t what you expected but at least it was still a pretty good read. I’ll admit your review has me curious. Thanks!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes,, the more I think about this one the more I actually find myself liking it – particularly the unexpected direction. Shame about the slightly slow start and abrupt end but otherwise very good.
      Lynn 😀

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