Nine Lives - Peter Swanson

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

If you're on the list you're marked for death.
The envelope is unremarkable. There is no return address. It contains a single, folded, sheet of white paper.
The envelope drops through the mail slot like any other piece of post. But for the nine complete strangers who receive it - each of them recognising just one name, their own, on the enclosed list - it will be the most life altering letter they ever receive. It could also be the last, as one by one, they start to meet their end.
But why?

My Thoughts:

I couldn’t put this book down!
It draws you in right from the start when the first person receives a letter with nine names on it. We meet each of the nine people that are on the list in their own chapters. It is quite a lot of people to get to know, and there is also a police detective, Sam and another fellow, Fisher, who get their own chapters. It was quite challenging to remember who each character was. I found myself quickly reminding myself before getting immersed in each chapter, had they been contacted by the FBI? Had they told anyone? What had they done with the list etc.?
As the list of people diminishes, so does the need to remember all characters.
I loved how the deaths came out of nowhere, and they shocked me every time; you never knew when starting a character’s chapter that their time would be up by the end of it. So it really kept you on your toes.
There is no way to guess what is happening and why throughout the book, and the reveal is quite shocking.
I rushed through the book, wanting to know what was going on; however, I found the ending a bitter disappointment. I think the author was going for the shock factor, which was successful, but it just fell flat also. Everything gets explained in the end by way of a letter, and this felt like a bit of a cop-out and wasn’t as cleverly executed as the story deserved. As another reviewer said, it would be better to be shown rather than just told. It was a massive let-down.
The very end as well just didn’t make sense. We just had to accept what we were reading with no explanation given. I was glad of this outcome, but it wasn’t needed as I’d already come to terms with it being how it was.
So a tough book to rate as it was superb until the end and would have definitely received five stars. However, the writing and the big reveal at the end were lazy and not what I would expect from such an inspired author. So this gets just four stars from me.

Nine Lives
by Peter Swanson
Date Started
19th January 2022
Date Finished
21st January 2022