4 out of 4 stars
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There is only one word that seems to sum up Finn Bell's The Easter Make Believers: unpredictable. Other than giving you thoughts that will keep you up at night, this thrilling novel is also guaranteed to give you faster heartbeats.
Police Detectives Nick Cooper and Tobe White gets an order to rush to a house in Lawrence in what appears to be a hostage situation. The Chen family is being held at gunpoint with five armed gangsters. As the police try to draft a rescue plan, an explosion occurs, killing the suspects but leaving the family intact—except for one. The father, James Chen, goes missing together with the rumored leader of the gang, Remu Black. With no stain on the family's reputation and no visible link to the suspects, the case is surrounded with questions and no answers. As Nick and Tobe set out to find James and Remu, an unexpected and terrifying truth awaits them.
The book was undoubtedly a page-turner. With twenty-four short chapters revolving around one case, it was surprisingly thrilling. The author knew how to reel in the reader's curiosity and never let go of it. Unlike other books, in which they stretch the plot too much just to make it longer, the author knew where to draw line of overly discussing and storytelling. One thing I liked the most was, as the characters chased the probable leads, the book didn't fail in making the readers involved in the process. It was as if the reader was encouraged to solve the mystery and ask questions as well.
Furthermore, the characters were well-developed and well-written. They were relatable and impressive, even the ones with supporting roles. Similarly, the scenes in the book were described exceptionally, especially the shooting scenes. The descriptions were short as to not overwhelm, but vivid enough for the imagination. The law enforcement jargon like "12-10" and "GIC" were also explained briefly and in laymen's terms, making it easier to understand the conversations. This certain feature made the book even more interesting.
Moreover, there were discussions of human behavior inserted in most chapters—which made the book unique and stimulating to read. For example, the author discussed psychological facts about the parent-children relationship. Others may think that these were merely written just to lengthen the plot, but I disagree. The discussions contributed to the character's depth and to the richness of the story. It may seem unrelated to the case at first, but they all made sense in the end. If I were to describe it, it was like piecing pieces of a puzzle: you don't know how the picture will turn out until you're done. When I finished reading and everything was in their rightful places, the result left me in awe.
I cannot say that it was a total suspense, but The Easter Make Believers was definitely worth the read until the very end. Everything was perfectly executed, especially the ending, to the point that it will be engraved in my memory forever. I did not find anything that I disliked while reading. There were few errors such as lack of commas, but they didn’t affect the quality of the book. Thus, I give this a 4 out of 4 stars rating. One thing's for sure: Bell surely knows how to make his readers emotionally invested in his books.
This masterpiece is perfect for people who like both action-driven and character-driven books. I also recommend this to those who are fond of reading police investigations and wouldn't mind the occasional discussion of human behavior. However, if you prefer mostly action scenes and less talking, then you're not the right audience for this book.
Lastly, I give you one of my favorite lines:
"Getting what you want fast must be the biggest single reason for intentionally doing things the wrong way; because playing by the rules will almost never get you what you want right now."
The Easter Make Believers
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