Kind of Cruel is a complex mystery by British author Sophie Hannah. It’s an interesting book in that it has absolutely no sympathetic characters, but a very compelling mystery that moves the story along.
Kind of Cruel demands that you pay close attention because it is told in shifting first person narratives, and the characters lie not only to themselves but to you as well. The themes are especially interesting, with subtle emotional abuse and the damage it takes on people well into their adulthood and how it affects their personal development and interpersonal relations.
The mystery of the murders, and a mysterious christmas disappearance and reappearance by several family members years ago are extremely intriguing and hidden behind a wall of unreliable memories and subconcious inferences. The unraveling of the mysteries and the unwinding of the memories are both fascinating.
There are a number of red herrings that may turn off some people, and a complete cadre of fairly unlikeable characters. While unlikeable, they are interesting and the ultimate payoff is both satisfying and a little chilling. Recommended read.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.