Review #48: Bad Sweet Things by Maria Hoey

It all starts with a photograph. Six best friends received the exact same thing, except in each one, a different face is scratched out.

Their own face.

Detective Tina Bassett in unstoppable. Her colleagues call her The Hound because of how dedicated she is to sniffing out the killer. So, when the six friends start dying, one by one, she’s determined to prove that her instincts are correct and the women are all being murdered by the same person.

But what’s the link? And who has the motivation?

You know, I’ve never read a thriller quite like this one. It’s like a mystery mixed with a thriller mixed with some seriously messed up peer pressure. “Messed up” is a compliment, in this case! Lol Maybe thriller isn’t my favorite genre, but I can still appreciate a  good book when I see one.

First off, style– This is the first book I’ve read by Maria Hoey, and I think it’s fair to say that I’m impressed. I love the way we effortlessly jumped between POVs. She manages to balance building up a background and plot and characters at the exact same time. That often requires some extraneous memory from the characters, which could feel out of place, but it never quite struck me that way. She knows how to write a mystery, too, because I was genuinely stumped until it was revealed. *facepalm* Someone in our book club was like “it’s pretty obvious who it is” and I didn’t want to admit that I was so lost. Seriously.

Second, pacing– I don’t always choose to talk about pacing in depth. Mostly, I’m easy to please when it comes to this category. But, let’s be honest, everyone has their preference. Me? I like fast books! From start to finish, keep me going. This… wasn’t really it. Or at least, it wasn’t to begin with. For me, the start dragged. I couldn’t link up the Orla story with the A-Team story, and I couldn’t keep all the characters straight. There was just TOO MANY PEOPLE. Now, this might entirely be my fault. Maybe I wasn’t in the right headspace. Either way, it was a slow start. Man, did it pick up, though! I sat down and finished like the second half in one sitting because I just HAD to get done.

Third, characters– I didn’t really like Tina to begin with! There’s an exclamation point because I honestly can’t believe I didn’t. This grumpy little spitfire really grew on me, mainly because of her resilience and passion. Her promise to Orla was silly, but I appreciated her following through and refusing to give up. I liked JP from the beginning, and I really, really felt for the Anna/Grace/Orla group. I won’t tell you how they link up. That’d be a spoiler. But let’s just say that Anna is honestly STILL my favorite character.

Lastly, kudos to Maria for making such a truly relatable, likable villain. Whoever that is. *winkwink*

Final Rankings

Overall Rating: 3.75/5, rounds up to a 4 really.
Pacing: A bit slow at the beginning, but picked up at the end.
Intended Audience: Adult.
Content Warnings: Rape, in semi-detailed occasions, more than once, and suicide.
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Sweet-Things-Someone-killing-ebook/dp/B09L4YHP9X

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