Lately I’ve been reading mostly crime thrillers. And after finishing Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent, I’m still trying to decide if that is what it is or not. Heck, I’m still trying to decide what I thought of it. But that’s not a bad thing, is it? Books that leave you thinking are usually really good ones.
The Drumm brothers, William, Brian, and Luke, are only a few years apart. You’d have thought they might be close growing up, but they are just so different. Little Cruelties tells their story from each of their points of view in turn. At the end, all three brothers are at a funeral. But only one of them is in the casket. Which one is it?
Little Cruelties definitely gives you a lot to think about. Each chapter is about what happened in different years in the lives of the Drumm brothers. You get to see all points of view – William’s, Brian’s, and Luke’s. As you get deeper into the book, you find out secrets that some brothers knew about the others. The brothers themselves also find out more, both about each other and themselves.
I hesitate to define this as a crime thriller. It’s definitely a psychological thriller, but even then, is it really a thriller? One thing I can be sure of, it’s a family drama. Because this family has a lot of drama, that’s a given. It’s kind of a mystery, since you don’t even know which brother dies, just that one of them does. But why, and how? And what does it have to do with the other two? Lots of questions, so I guess you might say it’s suspense.
This book is really hard for me to rate. On one hand, part of me wants to give it three out of five stars, because it wasn’t what I was looking for. But, on the other hand, if I had been suspecting more of a family drama, then I wouldn’t have any problem rating it four stars. It handles each character with sensitivity, but is not overly sympathetic towards them, which is a good thing. If you’re looking for a crime thriller, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you want some good psychological suspense in the form of a family drama, this one was pretty hard to put down. Grab it when it comes out in the US on November 10.