Review: Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates

Title: Grist Mill Road
Author: Christopher J. Yates
Pages: 339
Genre: Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Source: Free ARC from Picador

Rating: 3.5 stars

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Picador via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Summary: As adolescents, Hannah, Patrick and Matthew were involved in a terrible, life-changing tragedy. Fast forward twenty-six years later and everyone has moved on with their lives. Hannah is a crime reporter, Patrick is laid off but finding his passion in cooking and blogging, and Matthew…well, neither of them knows where Matthew is, and they don’t want to. Unfortunately, he comes out of the woodwork unexpectedly, and dredges up a past Hannah and Patrick would both rather forget. And as often happens when you dredge, some debris is brought to the surface, some truths that Hannah and Patrick would rather have stayed buried.

Review: What I liked about this book is the way the storyline moved along, going back and forth between the past and present, as well as jumping between perspectives, leaving breadcrumbs, provoking questions. The layout of the story made it easy to keep going.

At some point, it became clear that things were not as they originally seemed, and then the missing element became painfully clear long before the actual reveal. In fact, it came so early that I was expecting to be wrong, or for something more shocking to enhance that element, but that never happened.

There were definitely some elements that I didn’t care for. Hannah’s perspective in the beginning was hard to get through. Her character felt detached, almost lifeless, and connecting to her was nearly impossible. In fact, though her bits of the story improved in the long run, I never got to liking her. In the beginning, I had sympathy for what she had been through, but in the end, I disliked her so much, even that was a struggle. And then I felt terrible because no one deserves what happened to her.

On reflection, I didn’t really like any of the characters, but the one I liked the most I hated early on. And the ending. Don’t even start with me. To avoid spoilers, I will repeat what I told a friend who was working their way through it around the same time: the feeling I had at the end of this book was very similar to the one I had at the end of Gone Girl.

3.5 stars: being generous because I waited a bit too long to review (it’s been nearly a month since I finished it!), and I recall liking it more right after finishing it. A month later, I just can’t recall why I gave it 4 stars instead of 3. 😉

9 Replies to “Review: Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates”

  1. I haven’t read this book but I agree with your comment that if a book doesn’t stay with you after a month then it is more of a 3 rating than a 4 rating.

    • There have been a few times that I went back and lowered a rating a month or two later because the more I sat with it, the less I liked it or…a month later I don’t even remember what it’s about. Then it’s definitely a 3 star at best.

  2. I saw this book on instagram first, but i forgot to look it up, i just basically added it to my tbr cuz i loved the cover… hehe.
    Now at least i know what to expect 😀

    • The cover is definitely eye-catching, and it’s a genre I usually enjoy. Some of my book buddies have liked it, so you never know. Maybe just a bad fit for me. 😀

  3. This was one that was not for me at all. I was very disappointed in it. This one seems to be one you’ll love or hate. 🙁

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