Author: Paul Cleave
Goodreads Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.60)
Published: August 4th, 2015
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?
My Review ★★★ (3 Stars)
When I first started this novel, I didn’t know what to expect. The synopsis sounded so intriguing that I was ecstatic when I found out this was February’s book for the Criminally Good Book Club over on Instagram (@criminallygoodbookclub).
Inside the novel we follow a man named Jerry Grey. He is a crime writer (how cool!) and a very good one at that. It goes back and forth between chapters of what is happening now in his life with Alzheimer’s and back when he first found out that it was coming. He had written in a journal (the Madness Journal) whenever he felt he needed to, so he could remind himself of the man he was in the past. Future Jerry isn’t going to be the same.
I have to be honest though, I was a little bored throughout most of the book. It wasn’t a book I thoroughly enjoyed and this review is going to be a little tough for me. It was lacking a lot for me through the beginning and the middle. The ending of the book was the most thrilling and still has me second guessing the whole entire book.
When Jerry found out about his Alzheimer’s he wasn’t ready. He was 49. What 49 year old is ready for something like that? We learn that he has a daughter who has lost respect for him and that his wife has left him because the disease has become too hard for her. While he spends his time in a nursing home, he finds that some nights he randomly escapes. Then on these nights random women are murdered. He doesn’t remember committing the crime but he confesses to crimes in the past. Are these confessions real or are they made up from the disease?
Throughout the story Jerry had a friend named Hans who was always there for him. He was there whenever he needed to talk, he was there for his daughters wedding, he was there to pick him up whenever he snuck out of the house and he brought Jerry booze when his wife took it away. He even helped Jerry take down the orderly from the nursing home when they solved the crime of Eric framing Jerry for the murders he was committing so he could write the perfect book. Yes you read that right, Eric (Jerry’s orderly at the home) was working on becoming a writer. With that the only advice Jerry gave him was “Write what you know. Fake the rest.” Eric took that advice a little too far.
After Jerry and Hans took Eric down that was when the book picked up a little more. We learned that Jerry had this hidden journal somewhere in the house he used to live in and this could possibly set him free from all murder charges. This is also where I became a little confused with the ending. For the sake of the readers who want to read this novel and haven’t read it yet, I will not ruin it for you. But I’m not impressed with the ending, I was really hoping for something different to happen for Jerry Grey, crime writer.
So I regretfully have to say this book will not be on my top recommendations list, which makes me sad because I really wanted to love this book. It was just lacking the mystery and thrill setting for me to stay engaged through the whole book.