Book Review: Obedience

Title: Obedience
Author: Will Lavender
ISBN: 9780307396105
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 2 out of 5

Synopsis: When the students in Winchester University’s Logic and Reasoning 204 arrive for their first day of class, they are greeted not with a syllabus or texts, but with a startling assignment from Professor Williams: Find a hypothetical missing girl named Polly. If after being given a series of clues and details the class has not found her before the end of the term in six weeks, she will be murdered.

At first the students are as intrigued by the premise of their puzzle as they are wary of the strange and slightly creepy Professor Williams. But as they delve deeper into the mystery, the boundary between the classroom and the real world is blurred and the students wonder if it is their own lives they are being asked to save.

My Review:

I picked up this book as I thought this was exactly my type of book. Psychology, mystery, thriller, murder – what’s not to like? It was another intriguing plot. But I was wrong. This book is a page turner no doubt, but it is not a good book. The plot is interesting and captivating at the beginning but then it just gets too confusing. At one point I was so confused, I couldn’t make out what were the clues, who was real, who was alive and who was supposedly dead. But then I just continued as I wanted to know how it would all end.

The ending was disappointing, I expected more – some kind of redemption for the characters. The book was a page turner but it could have been executed better. The characters were nothing special, except the professor. There are many loose ends and plot lines which are not explained. The book follows few of the students in the class and how they go about solving this puzzle. But what about the other students? What are they doing? Why isn’t this group discussing it with them. What about other teachers? It doesn’t tie up well in the end. The climax I thought was implausible.

In thrillers and mystery books, I like all loose ends to be tied up neatly in the end, all misleading plot lines to work in tandem with the solution – or perhaps I expect an Agatha Christie ending from every other author and this book so doesn’t do it. The climax is very different from what anyone reading it would expect that I agree. But then it was not to my liking. Some might actually like it, some surprise that would leave you astonished but it’s not my cup of tea. I am not glad that I spent money purchasing it instead of borrowing it from the library.


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