BOOK REVIEW: Our Kind of Cruelty by Amarinta Hall

Mike understands that most of us travel through the world as one half of a whole, desperately searching for that missing person to make us complete.
But he and Verity are very different. They have found each other and nothing and no one will tear them apart. It doesn’t matter that Verity is marrying another man.
It’s all just part of a plan: you see, Verity and Mike play a game together, a secret game they call ‘the crave’, the aim being to demonstrate what they both know: that Verity needs Mike, and only Mike. Verity’s upcoming marriage is the biggest game she and Mike have ever played. And it’s for the highest stakes.
Except this time, in order for Mike and Verity to be together someone has to die…
Publisher: Century
Pages: 351
The only other book I have read by Amarinta Hall is her novel Dot which was published in 2013. Our Kind of Cruelty has a very different feel and I thought it was fantastic. It is a dark, twisted, psychological thriller which raises many relevant questions about women and sexuality.
Mike and Verity play a game called ‘The Crave’ where Verity will wait to be approached by another man while Mike watches, he will them come over and break it up, claiming Verity as his own. It gives them both a sexual thrill and it’s a game they have been playing for years. But now, Verity is getting married and Mike is n
ot the potential groom. Surely this is the biggest version of the crave they have ever played? The stakes are high but who is really in control of the game?
I devoured this book in a single day, I just couldn’t stop reading. I love the way Araminta Hall set the story up, the reader is aware of the game from the very beginning and then she gradually reveals more about Mike and Verity. The plot and writing are tantalising and dangerous. I was very impressed with how the author keeps you guessing to the very last page.
Our Kind of Cruelty looks at women and their sexuality which feels very relevant considering the Times Up campaign etc. Araminta Hall highlights how it is often seen as acceptable for men to explore their sexual needs and likes but it is still frowned upon for a woman to do the same. Verity is ashamed of the games her and Mike have played and people’s reaction to her involvement is very different to how they treat Mike’s role in it all.
I am so impressed by this book, Araminta Hall has written an obsessive, dark and addictive psychological thriller. I can highly recommend Our Kind of Cruelty.
Many thanks to Century Books for sending me a copy to review.

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