Title: Your Life is Mine
Author: Nathan Ripley
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Date of Publication: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Atria Books
Blanche Potter is more than just a documentary film-maker. She’s the daughter of infamous mass murderer and cult-leader Chuck Varner. Blanche wants nothing more than to leave her past behind her, but when her mother is murdered, she’s forced to return home. She must go back to the place where it all began, and she fears that her father’s followers are only getting started…
This book is slow paced at the start. Ripley provides a lot of description of the setting and Blanche is quite introspective. The plot picks up as the story progresses, maintaining an even pace until the climactic finish.
There are excerpts from a true crime book scattered throughout the narrative. They provide much-needed backstory that fills in the gaps in Blanche’s memory and let us know what was going on that Blanche hadn’t known about.
While slow paced, there are leisurely twists and turns in the plot that kept me engaged in the story line. Despite the introspective nature of the book, it’s a quick read, and I gobbled it up in nearly one sitting.
While an engaging book, the story didn’t move quickly enough for me. I would have preferred for this to have been balanced with more twisted introspection, but the characters were quite tame compared to other books about serial killers.
The most intriguing part of this book is the main character. Blanche Potter is the daughter of a murderer and cult-leader. She always knew who and what her father was, which makes for interesting backstory.
I was particularly fascinated by her friendship with Jaya. They’re best friends, and there are intriguing parallels in their histories. Blanche’s father was a murderer. Jaya’s father was murdered. Their friendship is unlikely and compelling, and it was beautiful to see how much Blanche relied on that relationship, how much she leaned on Jaya in times of distress (which was basically this entire novel).
I recommend this book to any fan of serial-killer fiction. It puts more emphasis on character and atmosphere than on convoluted plots, which will appeal to those looking for a character study of the daughter of a mass murderer.
*Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the ARC for review*
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