Book of Knives – ARC Book Review

Title:- Book of Knives

Author:- Lise Haines

Date published:- will be published on October 4th 2022

Publisher:- Poisoned Pen Press

No. of pages:- 336 pages

Genre:- Thriller


Plot:- 2.5/5

Writing:- 2.5/5

Overall rating:- 2.5/5

There are thirteen knives. One by one they begin to disappear

Nora didn’t expect Hidden Lake Camp to be in a state of ruin. Dock full of rotten boards, smashed windows, cabins falling apart. To her new husband, Paul, the camp is the past he’d just as soon bury. Nora agreed to drive north with him to get his elderly parents settled while he makes enough repairs to sell the property. Only a few months, Paul said. The summer camp, however, and its deep lake have other plans.

After Nora’s first meal with his difficult family, one knife-part of a prized collection-goes missing. By the time the fourth and fifth vanish from behind locked doors and out from under watchful eyes, Nora can barely sleep. There’s talk of ghosts, secret rooms and someone at the summer camp found dead in the tall grass.

Unsettling, gripping, and totally original, Book of Knives is a literary thriller that shows how one person’s unraveling can bring the whole house down.

OK, the plot sounded interesting and intriguing and the book cover is appealing and so I decided to try this book out.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book as much I thought I should be and almost DNF the book.

Nora agrees to accompany her husband Paul to Hidden Lakes to look after Paul’s elderly parents and was surprised to see the camp in ruins. Paul’s brother Gabe and the kids are also at the camp with a Gabe’s wife named Salish as well. Then for some reason or the other, the thirteen knives start disappearing one by one. There is a rumor of a ghost hunting around the cabin and also a murder that had occured in the camp. And while these things are happening, tensions start developing between the family members.

First of all, I am not sure which type of genre it belongs to–horror or a mixture of horror and thriller? Second of all, this was a slow burn and there were few parts of the story where it was really boring and there were some parts in the story that I didn’t really understand. The ending to me was somewhat confusing. I don’t know whether it was just me, but honestly, I didn’t really enjoy reading this book. The plot was interesting but the way the story was executed was poor. Overall, a 2.5 stars for me.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

LISE HAINES is the author of three novels, Girl in the Arena, Small Acts of Sex and Electricity (a Book Sense Pick in 2006 and one of ten “Best Book Picks for 2006” by the NPR station in San Diego), and In My Sister’s Country,, a finalist for the 2003 Paterson Fiction Prize. Her short stories and essays have appeared in a number of literary journals and she was a finalist for the PEN Nelson Algren Award.

Haines is Writer in Residence at Emerson College. She has been Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard, and her other teaching credits include UCLA, UCSB, and Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She grew up in Chicago, lived in Southern California for many years, and now resides in the Boston area. She holds a B.A. from Syracuse University and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars.

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