30 August, 2021

#BookReview :: For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing #Crime #PsychologicalFiction @smariedowning @michaeljbooks


I have been wanting to read one of Samantha Downing's book as I had noticed quite a few glowing reviews of her two previous books on my goodreads feed. So, I jumped at the chance to read and review 'For Your Own Good' when it was offered to me. And I am glad that I did not let this opportunity go by me.

Set in a posh and prestigious private school, 'For Your Own Good' where the children of the elites of the society are sent to by their demanding parents, expecting it to be the stepping stone that will send the students on to Ivy League colleges. Of course, there is a LOT of drama their with the privileged students and even some ex-students who have returned as the faculty. And amongst it all is Teddy Crutcher, a nobody from a mediocre background who has had to earn every bit of privilege he has today for himself. Even winning 'The Teacher of the Year' doesn't bring him as much respect as he deserves - well, because of the whiny little… So, Teddy has to take things into his own hands because after all as a teacher it is his job to teach his students a lesson; and maybe to a couple of his fellow colleagues too while he is at it. But when bodies start to drop, and people come nosing about not only into the school but also into his personal life, he has very little choice. What would you do if you were in Teddy's shoes?

I love a well done whodunnit, but recently I am seeing more and more author experimenting with the genre. These days sometimes it is more about the how and the why and I must admit, if properly done, it can be just as awesome and exciting. And, Samantha Downing has indeed done a good job. She introduced us to our quirky and slightly crazy antagonist right at the beginning and then the story is all about how he does what he does, whether he will get caught, how far will he go and what might trip him up. Though I did not agree with our antagonist's reasoning, I have to admit that there were times when I didn't really blame him either. That is a sign of a well developed antagonist. We all love to hate our antagonists and when they are clearly the 'bad guy' we hate him with all the passion we can muster. But what happens when you start seeing the greys in the character of the antagonist. What do you do when there are moments you feel like if you were in his shoes, you'd want to do worse? And better question to answer yet, what do you do when the antagonist turns out to be the least horrible person around? (Well, not counting the murders or the little accidents).

I am glad that I am not part of the esteemed Belmont Academy. It is the home to a hell lot of mean and simply bad characters. I honestly did not feel bad about the murders that took place. Character-wise the book's hook is it's antagonist. I wish there were a couple of characters that I could like, if for nothing else, then contrast. They were all just rotten apples. The multiple PoVs also keep the reader appraised of what is going on not only in the story but also in the minds of some of the other cast and characters. Yet I was surprised! The fast-paced story coupled with some snarky comments and unexpected twists keeps the pages turning in the book. It has enough drama and mystery to keep any reader hooked and entertained.

Definitely recommend this to mystery lovers as I go hunting for the other books by this author.

Review Copy received from Penguin Random House UK

Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

1 comment: