Book Review – Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Random House UK, Cornerstone for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

This is another book I actually read late last year, but am only now getting a chance to write a review on… as life got a little insane back then for a bit. But I have been thinking over it ever since I read it… definitely one of those books that gives you a book hangover and stays with you for sometime.

For some reason, I had been expecting this to be one of those kooky, supernatural cosy crime stories. I have NO IDEA where I took that from… and so the beginning of the book threw me a bit as I went “wow! This is a very serious thriller!” but not in a tone that meant I was put off, in a tone that can be translated into “go away, I am reading something amazing!” 😉

Now, I don’t want to do ‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’ any injustice by saying it was a thriller and then have people tell me it’s nothing like one. To me, it was! Maybe I just don’t read enough thrillers? Meh. People who read my reviews will by now have noticed I mainly read cookbooks or cosy crimes… or cosy crimes that include cooking!

But I did find it indeed a thriller read. Suspenseful, intriguing and that red raw real life type of crime that Ruth Rendell used to write (and I am a huge fan of her books). The characters were modern and relatable, as well as being isolated and diverse from the norm due to their connected past.

The book is sort of told in two time – the past and the present. But it entwines together and leads the to reader to discover how it is all connected in such a sad, thrilling, bemusing and… well, emotional way. Gee, I really do feel like I am underselling ‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’ rather than promoting it here. Can I just say – I loved it, a riveting read and you all just believe me?

Midnight at the bright ideas bookstore

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. If you are a fan of the broad spectrum of crime fiction, this is a brilliant read and I would be surprised if you didn’t get a book hangover once done. If you are a more selective crime fiction reader and only read certain sub-genres, if you’re into thrillers, mysteries, modern day crime and the like – you will enjoy this. As said, it has that gritty realism that I enjoy in books by people like Ruth Rendell, Ann Cleeves, Elizabeth Haynes and so on.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yes I would. Any book that gives me a book hangover I still feel touches of months later is a book worth owning. I would happily add it to my eBook shelves and can see myself reading it again every now and then.

In summary: Lovers of the True Crime sub-genre into gritty realism, this book is for you. Highly enjoyable.

Until next time,

Janis.

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