December 18, 2014 by Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS blog
A PLEASURE AND A CALLING by Phil Hogan and published by Picador, a division of Macmillan. ISBN 978-1250060631. Hardcover with 288 pages. Publication date: January 6, 2015.
I *really* wanted to love A PLEASURE AND A CALLING. Admittedly, I generally do not read psychological suspense or thriller books, but I was very intrigued by the premise. And I wanted to be scared just a tiny bit, maybe even check-under-the-bed-scared, or I-should-only-read-this-book-during-the-day-scared. Granted, imparting fear to the reader may have never been the author’s intent, so maybe that was an unrealistic expectation on my part. (But that’s probably for the best anyway as that’s one of the reasons why I don’t read thriller or horror books!)
The first person narration is quite unique — it’s hypnotic yet detached at the same time. And perhaps because of this duality, this may be why some “shocking” things didn’t shock me or creep me out as much as they should have — although some definitely did!
While the story does seem credible, somehow I was too aware that I was indeed reading a story. Hogan writes well for sure but his writing style is a bit “heavy” so I found it difficult to read this book for hours on end — even reading a few chapters in a row was too much somehow. I also felt a bit restless while reading — perhaps it’s hard to truly get absorbed in a character and his/her world when the main character is a villain.
A PLEASURE AND A CALLING already has lots of positive reviews online so clearly I’m in the minority DNF’ing this book after reading 16 chapters. But ultimately I just wasn’t enjoying my reading experience as much as I expected I would.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.