Title: Bradstreet Gate
Author: Robin Kirman
Genre: General Fiction, Mystery
Publishing date: 7th July, 2015
My Rating: 2/5 stars
*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
A tour de force debut about a campus murder for readers of Donna Tartt, Meg Wolitzer, and Jeffrey Eugenides
Georgia, Charlie and Alice each arrive at Harvard with hopeful visions of what the future will hold. But when, just before graduation, a classmate is found murdered on campus, they find themselves facing a cruel and unanticipated new reality. Moreover, a charismatic professor who has loomed large in their lives is suspected of the crime. Though his guilt or innocence remains uncertain, the unsettling questions raised by the case force the three friends to take a deeper look at their tangled relationship. Their bond has been defined by the secrets they’ve kept from one another—Charlie’s love and Alice’s envy, Georgia’s mysterious affair—and over the course of the next decade, as they grapple with the challenges of adulthood and witness the unraveling of a teacher’s once-charmed life, they must reckon with their own deceits and shortcomings, each desperately in search of answers and the chance to be forgiven.
A relentless, incisive, and keenly intelligent novel about promise, disappointment, and the often tenuous bonds of friendship, Bradstreet Gate is the auspicious debut of a tremendously talented new writer.
This book had so much potential but it wasn’t explored to that extent. The synopsis makes it sound much more interesting than it actually is. It deals with the aftermath of the mystery more than actually solving the mystery and I think the hype the murder gets in the synopsis builds for the disappointment of not getting answers in the book. This was a mystery worth solving. The synopsis doesn’t focus on the murder, yes, but the undertone of it comes off as the murder is the main focus, atleast to me.
The focus is on many characters, making the characters real and likable is a twisted affair. It can sometimes make the characters have no depth, that’s what I found the problem with the characters. Not all of them were bad but the majority didn’t stand out or have characteristics that would make it enjoyable to read. Unlikable and problematic characters can be enjoyable to read too but that wasn’t the case with this book.
The mystery wasn’t the gripping kind, were you are on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next. I think this works better as a fiction than as a mystery. I felt like it was written that way and the mystery was the secondary part to the story and the characters’ growth was the primary.
The scenes leading to the answers to the mystery aren’t that well focused on and the general focus is on people than the circumstances, not even the relationships, just people as individuals, I guess. Which would’ve been fine by me if not for the intriguing promise of mystery-solving of having a murder that happened a decade ago.
The writing is good. The author really does write well, that’s what kept me reading. I think I might try another book by the author.
Why would I pick it up?
For the interesting synopsis.