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The Cabin by Natasha Preston
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The Cabin

by Natasha Preston

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Mackenzie and six of her friends are spending the weekend at a cabin in the woods. She's expecting it to be a drunken good time but that's not what it turns out to be when they wake up in the morning to find that two of their friends have been killed. Detective Inspector Wright is working the case and is treating them all as suspects. He's not giving Mackenzie enough information and she wants to clear her name as well as her friends names so she does some investigating herself. She discovers that each of her friends has a secret and that any one of them could be capable of murder.

The writing wasn't great. I know this comes out on September 6th but was previously published as "Covert" so I don't know if the errors are in the Covert as well, but there are lots!! Mackenzie went to Kyle's house to talk to him and when she left she hung up the phone. Blake walked to his truck and got in his car. The errors didn't affect my rating. My one star came from when I found out who the killer was and their motive for doing it. Wow. Totally unbelievable, over the top, ridiculous, childish. A very disappointing read. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
Mackenzie thinks this will just be a weekend with her group of friends, off in a cabin drinking and having fun. But when two of them are murdered, suddenly all of them are under suspicion, and all their secrets are coming out.

I love the "the killer is one of us" trope, done to absolute perfection by Agatha Christie in And Then There Were None. So any time a book tackles that, I'm going to appreciate it.

The book starts out strong. Preston builds a lot of suspense as the characters get settled in the cabin, and we pick up on tension that hints at a big event from the past.

Unfortunately, yes. I was really excited about this book, because of the trope it was centered around. And it did start out strong.

But the romance feels cliched, and to me that was because of the writing style. The way Preston describes the way the two characters feel about each other is very hearts in the eyes and butterflies in the stomach, which is fine, but I was looking for more from the writing.

The revelations from the characters' pasts also seem to come completely out of left field. I understand that the idea is that you never really know a person and what they're hiding behind their facade, but the secrets just don't seem to fit with what we have been shown about the characters and their relationships. This makes the ending twists seem rushed and out of left field as well.

I had been really excited to read this book since I first heard about it, and unfortunately, it just didn't deliver for me. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Sep 8, 2016 |
A locked cabin. A group of friends who have known each other for years. A no-parents weekend. Two dead bodies. This has all the hallmarks of an outstanding murder mystery. Unfortunately, the execution is weak, the characters are even weaker, and the ending…well, the ending is one of the lowest points of the entire novel.

The main problems lie with the narrative flow as well as with the lack of character development. The story itself is choppy. Told through the first-person narrator, you expect some issues with continuity; after all, the human brain rarely, if ever, thinks in complete, coherent sentences. However, the issues with Mackenzie’s narration go beyond that. For one, you never really get to know Mackenzie. Her thoughts remain superficial. There is a distinct lack of intimacy in spite of seeing everything from her point of view. Second, her emotions are wildly erratic, shifting from giddy to depressed in a matter of a few sentences. Lastly, she is not intelligent. You understand that she is naive and too trusting; it is a major plot point because she cannot fathom how one of her long-time friends is capable of executing a double murder. However, this goes beyond that. She not only jumps to conclusions based on one piece of information, but she feels she is more capable of discovering the truth than the police. Her actions are unnecessary and irritating.

The lack of character development does not stop with Mackenzie. Everyone who goes to the cabin remains as one-dimensional as possible. Moreover, other than at the cabin, which is just a small section of the story, they are not together. You never see the group dynamic long enough to be able to discern clues about the killer. The information you do get is highly tainted because it is from Mackenzie’s point of view, and it is well-established that she views everyone through rose-tinted glasses. This proves to be frustrating because in murder mysteries, you want answers and Ms. Preston provides none. Something as simple as an understanding why the detectives are so cold would go a long way towards establishing a connection between character and reader. What few answers we do get come too late in the story to remedy the situation, and your interest has long since waned.

The novel is frustrating enough, and then you reach the conclusion. The unveiling of the murderer is anticlimactic and utterly unappealing. By that time, Ms. Preston has thrown so many red herrings at you that you no longer care who actually did the deed. The worst part is that she does not stop there. To make an uninteresting resolution completely infuriating, she throws in a plot twist so over the top that it will make you want to commit violence to the book. One can see what she was trying to do, but she completely fails to succeed and ends up creating a lasting highly unfavorable impression.

The Cabin seems like it is going to be an excellent locked-door murder mystery, the kind with interesting character dynamics, and a thrilling denouement that exposes the killer in the nick of time. Sadly, it is anything but that. Instead, we have a rushed murder mystery with an insipid heroine, a serious lack of character development that prevents you from observing the group dynamics, a frustrating lack of answers, and an annoying conclusion. Of the very popular murder mystery/suspense/thriller genre in literature, The Cabin is a poor example and therefore worth avoiding.
  jmchshannon | Sep 8, 2016 |
It's pretty ridiculous in dialogue and story. The ending is weird and I really didn't like how it ended. I was left thinking that there must be more and I'm wondering if there is a sequel? If there is, I'm not interested. This really felt like a very amateur story.

I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a honest review. ( )
  CynthiaMR | Aug 31, 2016 |
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