Review: Did You See Melody

Did You See Melody?

I’ve read a few thrillers this year, which is pretty excellent actually because I love a good thriller. I really actually do. I think I say this every time I come to review one, like, there’s some weird part of me that feels like a can’t possibly write a review unless I’ve made it absolutely clear that DO YOU KNOW I REALLY LIKE THRILLERS AND I WISH I READ MORE OF THEM. What’s that about. Anyway, whatever, it is what it is and like every other time it segues (oooh good use of ‘segue’) nicely into this little chat about Sophie Hannah’s Did You See Melody which I read over the Easter weekend on my great Easter readathon. Hush. I know it was only 3 books and I care not a jot. I am totally calling it a readathon and thou shalt not raineth on my readthon-esque parade.

Anyhow. The book.

Sophie Hannah, if you didn’t know, has written lots of books. Lots. So many of the books. Including the new Poirot books which I haven’t read and don’t know if I actually will because my Agatha Christie loving heart just might not let me. Have I ever talked about my Poirot love? I have a lot of it and yet I’ve never ever read a Miss Marple. Strange, huh? Poirot, also, is one of the bestest things to ever be adapted for television and the ultimate hangover cure. Fact. But we’re not here to talk about old Hercule and I am endlessly sorry that  I am so very easily distracted. Back on track, back on track.
Thing is, is that the fact that Sophie Hannah wrote these books with full permission of Agatha’s estate etc tells you a thing or two about her don’t you think? I mean Poirot. She got permission to write Poirot and whilst I sometimes look at The Monogram Murders (there’s another one too: Closed Casket) and think that I’m not sure I want to read it, the fact that Hannah is the person that wrote it is what drew me to reading Did You See Melody curled up on my sofa with an Easter Egg (Mini Eggs, if you wondered) and a cup of coffee. Yes I did dip the egg in the coffee don’t judge me.
It’s about a British woman – Cara - who for a reason we’re not party to at first, has upped and left her husband and two children and checked herself into a 5* spa in Arizona. There’s an old lady stopping there who everyone thinks is batty who keeps claiming she’s seen this little girl, Melody, who disappeared years ago. Except, Melody’s parents are in prison for her murder, so it can’t have been her, can it? Cara is not so sure.
And you know, it was ok. It really was. I gave it 3 stars which is good. I mean sure I wished I’d liked it more, but hey, life isn’t like that is it; they can’t all be 5 star BEST BOOK EVER can they?! And this book, it was good. The story I mostly liked; the characters I liked less; some of the narrative bugged me, but overall, I flew through it which, well that can’t be a bad thing can it. Nobody ever devoured a book they didn’t like. Except maybe some people did/do and that’s ok but I am not that person. I am a person that slowly puts down and backs away from the books she doesn’t like, not the kind that stops up late reading them and Jesus stop with the waffling Josephine.
Let’s talk about it a little: I’m waffling because I didn’t love it, that’s why. I don’t like not being able to wax lyrical about how amazing it is because I feel bad so I hide behind random chatter and hope nobody notices. Classic avoidance. Anyway.
It started off like a stereotypical beach read, which is fine, but not really my thing and there was a lot of fancy holiday spa description which did not give me holiday envy at all and was actually a little boring. A lot of the story was told via transcripts from a television show and those parts jarred for me and really messed with my whole reading experience partly because it because it didn’t flow and it was a bit weird and partly because the tv show host, well, I just didn’t like her, and all of those parts just seemed a bit…contrived. I can categorically state actually that I would have liked this book a whole lot more if it weren’t for those particular bits, which is a shame. Also the police were unrealistically incompetent and other people – like the tv show host and a (amusing but also annoying) guest at the spa – were far too involved in the investigation and generally it just….annoyed me. I spent a lot of the book not warming to anybody at all and thinking NO THAT WOULD NOT HAPPEN.
BUT THEN IT GOT GOOD. Like, in the last third this book pretty much did a complete u-turn and yes ok the things that bugged me totally still bugged me but the story really got going and I got a little bit hooked and then it ended and I did a small amount of swearing because, well, let’s say that it ended in such a way that Iif there were a sequel I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m pretty sure there won’t be; I’m confident this is a standalone book, but still, holy clever ending Batman. I liked that. The story ends and you think you know all of the answers – some surprising and some not so much – and yet, and yet, here it is: a surprise last minute chilling twist. I AM SO HERE FOR THAT.

Basically, this book was ok, it was a quick and easy read and the ending was good and even though things about it bugged the actual life out of me, I still think I kinda liked it.

Did You See Melody is published in the summer; keep your eyes peeled.