Published by Atria Books on August 4th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, General, Mystery & Detective, Crime
eARC provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
In the exciting new psychological thriller by the Edgar-nominated author of Joe Victim, a famous crime writer struggles to differentiate between his own reality and the frightening plot lines he’s created for the page.
Jerry Grey is known to most of the world by his crime writing pseudonym, Henry Cutter—a name that has been keeping readers at the edge of their seats for more than a decade. Recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of forty-nine, Jerry’s crime writing days are coming to an end. His twelve books tell stories of brutal murders committed by bad men, of a world out of balance, of victims finding the darkest forms of justice. As his dementia begins to break down the wall between his life and the lives of the characters he has created, Jerry confesses his worst secret: The stories are real. He knows this because he committed the crimes. Those close to him, including the nurses at the care home where he now lives, insist that it is all in his head, that his memory is being toyed with and manipulated by his unfortunate disease. But if that were true, then why are so many bad things happening? Why are people dying?
Hailed by critics as a “masterful” (Publishers Weekly) writer who consistently offers “ferocious storytelling that makes you think and feel” (The Listener) and whose fiction evokes “Breaking Bad reworked by the Coen Brothers” (Kirkus Reviews), Paul Cleave takes us down a cleverly twisted path to determine the fine line between an author and his characters, between fact and fiction.
I was completely torn over the facts of this book. Trust No One is a guessing game from the very beginning. The book has a very just title. Jerry is either a murderer with a conscience, or not, he can’t remember.
Let’s go over the facts:
Jerry Grey is a crime writer who writes with the pen name Henry Cutter.
Jerry has penned 13 novels. He can’t remember the last 3.
Jerry has a beautiful wife named Sandra, and a daughter named Eva.
Jerry Grey is 49 years old.
Jerry Grey is not at home.
Jerry Grey has early onset Alzheimer’s.
Jerry Grey has been living in a nursing home for over a year.
Jerry Grey sometimes confesses that his books may not be fiction.
Where is Sandra? The wife he has loved for years has left him to die in a nursing home, just like he always feared she would. He keeps talking about how he did it. He has details about killing people. The staff is concerned he may be making real confessions to murders he commits when he breaks out of the nursing home. He does that. He breaks out and walks into the city and they find him hours later, confused, unable to remember how he got there. His daughter calls him by his first name. His best friend Hans can’t bring him Gin and Tonics anymore. He has very little to look forward to now.
The book splits with entries from a journal, (NOT a diary), written by Jerry when he first gets his diagnosis, and Jerry in his current situation over a year later. He writes in his journal to “Future Jerry”. Sometimes he thinks Henry takes over. Mostly the journal is Jerry trying to figure out how best to proceed. There are pages missing. His wife is busy planning Eva’s wedding. Maybe Sandra took them, but why? The wedding is going to be a big deal, Jerry hopes he can play his part. The hotel Jerry wakes up in has terribly sad guests. Everyone is hoping he doesn’t do anything stupid at the wedding. He starts a countdown to the wedding. The day of the wedding something terrible happens. Jerry just can’t remember how he got here.
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Written in only Jerry’s POV, this story moved at a fast pace and kept me guessing. I just couldn’t imagine who to trust in this book. Jerry is not a good historian and everyone is acting suspicious. I had no idea what Jerry would find. I am thinking readers looking for a good thriller will really enjoy this story. There is minimal actual horror scenes, just this nagging feeling that things are not okay for Jerry. Because they are so NOT. I wanted to believe Jerry was mostly innocent, but even he could not deny his guilt at something. I actually found myself trying to explain to Miguel (who doesn’t even read books) how good this book really is. I was trying to defend why I could not put this down. I had to see it through. I loved every second of this thriller, all the way to the bitter end. I feel a book hangover coming on.