Plot: Roy is a con-man. One who has pulled a few tricks throughout his life and fooled a few too many people. Old age is catching up, but that doesn’t stop him from picking up one final mark, one last job for him and a life ruined for his target.
But Betty has secrets of her own and a haunting past that she isn’t able to leave behind. She may not be the easy mark Roy thinks she is.
Then again, Betty might not be the person Roy thinks she is either. But that doesn’t matter…for it works both ways.
Quote: `I just think we are who we are and getting on with things is all we can do. Thinking too much can get you into all kinds of grief.`
Opinion: If it wasn’t for the very satisfying end to this book, I would have been bitterly disappointed in it. For a long time, I couldn’t get into it. Although the characters are not supposed to be the nicest ones, with no empathy for the narrator, there was nothing to keep me connected. It improved the further through I got and the ending saved it from being a very mediocre book.
The characters let this book down. At least, Roy’s character does. Betty is likeable and there are enough hints about things not being quite right that she creates a sense of mystery and intrigue. If the majority of the plot was her story from the start, it would be a much better book.
But Roy is hard to like. I felt no empathy for him at any point in the book. Although the narration does switch, it is predominantly Roy’s story being told, even though it is across different times in his life. He is set up as an unpleasant type of man from the start, so even his adventures when he is young did nothing to make me warm towards him.
The plot is adequate: jumping time frames and narrations between Roy and Betty and parts of their past. But Roy’s past stories (for the majority of the book) do not tie in with the present day narration and with his character unlikeable, they became boring and parts that you wished to just skip through. Once the mystery deepened and more was revealed about Betty, the book became a lot stronger.
The writing was – unfortunately – average. I struggle to sing the praises of writing that left me not caring at all for the character. Something was needed to hook the reader in and keep them gripped. Whether that was the characterisation, the story or even the writing itself, I’m not sure.
That is not to say this book is bad, far from it. The ending resulted in me being pleased I kept reading and was satisfying enough the book didn’t feel like a waste of time. There needed to be something more to it though, some spark that got the heart racing and sadly, this was lacking.