Popsugar Reading Challenge 2021 Book 18

Prompt: A book with something broken on the cover

I was sent a copy of The Catch by T. M Logan by a secret bookish elf as part of a book swap earlier this year. After some debate amongst my fellow Popsugar challengers, we agreed that the glass in the cover is definitely cracked and therefore counted as broken. I love it when books I am already planning to read fit into prompts.

What it’s about?

From Goodreads:

Ed is delighted to meet his twenty-three year old daughter’s fiancé for the first time. Ryan appears to be the perfect future son-in-law. There’s just one problem. There’s something off about Ryan. Something hidden in the shadows behind his eyes. And it seems that only Ed can see it.

Terrified that his daughter is being drawn in by a psychopath, Ed sets out to uncover her fiancé’s dark past – while keeping his own concealed. But no-one believes him. And the more he digs, the more he alienates her and the rest of the family who are convinced that Ryan is ‘the one’.

Ed knows different. For reasons of his own, he knows a monster when he sees one…

What I think:

This book reminded me of The Dilemma by B. A. Paris which I read last year – not least because the similar cover design suggests these are marketed at the same audience.

Like The Dilemma, the book was well paced and compelling, but I did not enjoy it.

There is a pervading sense of unease in this book that I’m sure makes it intentionally hard to read and at times I had to put it down.

I found it really hard to empathise with any of the characters.

Ed is suspicious of his daughters fiance, Ryan from the outset. He seems too perfect – great job, home, army background and volunteers. His suspicions are based in nothing more than intuition, but he becomes obsessed with Ryan. He follows him and lies to his family and colleagues to the point where he is fired from his job. While his concern for his daughter and his overprotective nature are fitting with the character, the fact that he risks his own financial security did not.

Ryan is definitely shady from the outset. He’s clearly lying about something and the pace at which he is pushing for the wedding is definitely a red flag.

I didn’t particularly warm to Abbie – she is completely dismissive of her father’s feelings about the wedding and doesn’t seem particularly concerned about some of the anomalies in Ryan’s life. Ryan is clearly a master at manipulation but she does seem particularly blind to some of his behaviour.

The sense of paranoia and manipation is well done. The reader is left not knowing who to trust and whose narrative is reliable. The ending is twisty and dramatic and I can see thus making a good TV adaptation.

My problem was that I hadn’t warmed to the characters enough to care about the conclusion. For me this lacked an emotional connection.

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