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Liz Loves Books.Com.

Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere.  All views my own. Mostly.

Currently reading

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Painkiller - N. J. Fountain

Painkiller was one of those addictive bang through novels that you just cannot put down and for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not without its problems for me though, however the premise from which we start is highly intriguing and somewhat emotional.

Monica lives with chronic pain. The HUGE strength of this book is how that is put across, through her words, through her actions and changing attitudes, she is not particularly likeable but extraordinarily sympathetic. I like the way the author starts with "I wake up" and then takes us through a plethora of different emotions, pain levels and acceptance v denial. Extremely well done.

The mystery element is well plotted through the majority- Monica has memory issues due to the immense amounts of medication she has to take and its possible her husband is not as loving as she thinks, her friends may not be entirely trustworthy and those she interacts with may not always have her best interests at heart. Therein lies the hook, that addictive sense as you race through the pages to find out the truth.

Clever misdirection, an off kilter reality, mostly seen through the filter of Monica and her pain, the twists and turns in Painkiller are beautifully placed and unpredictable which of course makes it fascinating and engaging. However...

My problem came with the ultimate resolution. I found it a little over convoluted, the last little bit was a maelstrom of rather ragged sprints to the finish line that were slightly overwhelming and not always as believable as the rest of the novel had been up until that point. That is not to say the finale was unlikely to the extreme, more that I felt it was rather banged together. But you know, sometimes these things can runaway with you.

Overall though Painkiller was a thought provoking, nicely done psychological thriller with a different starting premise that gave it an edge over others that I have seen lately. I would recommend it. You'll be slightly breathless by the end...