The Euthanist

The Euthanist - Alex Dolan

(I was given a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

One thing I'd like to say: blurbs, please stop spoiling the plot. Because, you see, when the main character learns of something only 50% in the book, and it's presented as a reveal, the reader having known for so long somewhat deflates it. Which is too bad.

Overall, this was an interesting story, one that made me keep reading, but to be honest, I found the blurb was more exciting than what it turned out to be. I didn't feel the urgency that much, and the two predators didn't come off as so ruthless in the end: we know how dangerous they used to be because of what other characters and newspapers said about them, but since they're not seen directly in action, their deeds appeared once removed, and the impact on me wasn't the same. I didn't feel the immediacy.

Mostly what I had a hard time with was Kali herself. While she's strong in a physical way, the mistakes she made were those of an amateur, not expected from someone who's been disguising herself and evading the law for years in order to give the good death to her clients. It's as if she had never really contemplated the possibility of getting caught (contrary to her mentor, whom she knew had made preparations), and once caught, every decision was illogical: running to other people and thus endangering them, using her real name when pretending to be someone she wasn't... In general: not being paranoid enough. Even I know that the first thing you do when on the run is to ditch your mobile phone, especially when you know you've remained unconscious for several hours with a manipulative bastard who could have made just any plans in order to follow you later.

Leland was infuriating, but in a way that still made me want to get to know him better, at least. He meant business, even though this involved lying and behaving harshly.

I did like the themes of trauma (due to kidnapping, more specifically) that the novel wove, the way different people reacted to it (one became sort of a recluse, another let her story out to exorcise her fears), and the person with a strong desire for revenge realised that this hadn't to be the main goal. Leland's second trade, while manipulative, of course, also allowed him to get an insight he probably hadn't expected within a world that he seemed to see previously as black and white only.

I guess that makes it a 2.5 stars: there were definitely twists and turns that made me want to know what would come next–it is a page-turner–but the main character was just too annoying, and her mistakes kept distracting me.