I might have made a mistake to binge read Gillian Flynn books at the beginning of my blogging career. Ever since that point, no thrillers ever came close to twisted and dark characters of Gillian Flynn.
Jar of Hearts had a few graphic moments and gore details, but I’ve predicted the twist way too soon. After that, the book lost a little bit of its appeal and I had to force myself to pick it up again.
This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .
When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.
But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women..
Disclaimer: *Thank you NetGalley and Minotaur Books for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.*
Jar of Hearts started very promisingly, with Georgina Shaw, a successful young woman with a prestigious job and rich fiance, getting arrested as a suspect in an old town mystery – the disappearance of her old school friend Angela Wong.
Fourteen years ago, 16-year-old Angela Wong disappeared under unknown circumstances. A bright, beautiful girl who was envied by many and what happened to her remained a mystery for fourteen years. When her remains are found buried close to Georgina’s childhood home, she becomes one of the main suspects.
It was interesting to follow Georgina as her life was turned upside down and see how she dealt with these new challenges thrown her way. But at the same time, Georgina’s acts didn’t surprise me in any way, I didn’t find myself attached to the story, just plain indifference from the beginning till the end.
Creating some deep feelings towards the characters of the book is usually not the main concern of mysteries and thrillers, as they are often very plot-driven stories, captivating their readers with events and secrets. Nevertheless, it is difficult to enjoy the book at its fullest when neither events nor characters keep you glued to the pages.
On the other hand, I was hoping to read more about adult Calvin James, his involvement in different crimes and reasoning behind them, and was disappointed to see that throughout the entire book he remained this mystery figure, especially once the story took a different direction.
In short, Jar of Hearts is a good example of a thriller based around an old crime and serial killer, with its positives and negatives. The fact that the book is told through present events and memories from the past, makes it more engaging. I love seeing this technique of storytelling when we slowly go through the present events with snippets of the past, and eventually, the story meets in the middle, shedding some light on the main events.