There are, and you can ask Katy for proof on this point, very few thrillers that catch me out. Having grown up watching an abundance of crime dramas, as well as reading every thriller and crime novel going - there's very few books with twists that really throw me for six - in fact, I have a habit of texting Katy a theory halfway through the book in order to have the satisfaction on record when I (more than often) get it right. Still, when I started The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari - it definitely posed a challenge for me (I was close, though.)
I like a book that isn't what I'd expected, and Montanari definitely achieved that with The Doll Maker - it's prologue is gory and intriguing, then quickly gives way to the charming, unexpectedly old fashioned first chapter written by one of our main characters - Annabel. The book changes between four distinct styles - in part one, we have Annabel's soft, childlike tone interjected with the detective's story, in part two Annabel's story leaves to give way to Mr Marseille's superior, intriguing tone. Interjected between all of the chapters are chapters written looking back on events that have already happened - together, they piece together to form different views of one set of crimes and the background of how they came to be.
Is it predictable? It's not impossible to see the main theme of the story and where it's headed - although, having said that, it's also not easy to pick up every thread that makes up a twist, and so it still does spin you around and leave you reeling in parts. Montanari has done a fantastic job of making us symapthise with a number of the characters within the book - both intended victims and villains - and all in all, this makes a much more interesting read, one that leaves you considering the morality of the situations at all.
This isn't for the faint of heart - the prologue alone would have many turning away - but this is definitely a beautifully written, well worded and though out thriller; and definitely one that has me wanting to order more of Montanari's offerings to read in one single sitting. It's not a book to read if you're looking for something light - but it's definitely a book that will have you up late wanting to get through those last few chapters.
What thrillers would you recommend?