Thank you to Amazon Publishing for sending me a free finished copy of In The Vines in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Mary Olivia Pentecost, known as Mop, was born into one of the wealthiest families in the country—and one of the most guarded. Now, two years after her mother’s mysterious death, Mop is seeking closure on the disquieting tragedy by returning to the New England seaside estate of her cloistered Aunty Liv—once her closest relative and confidante.
But behind the walls of the isolated estate, the shadows of the past are darker than Mop imagined. The puzzles of the family history are not to be shared, but unearthed. With each revelation comes a new, foreboding threat—and for Mop, the grave suspicion that to discover Aunty Liv’s secrets is to become a prisoner of them.
How well do we know the people we love? How well do we want to know them? The answers are as twisted as a tangle of vines in this throat-clutching novel of psychological suspense.
In The Vines is one dark and twisted thriller, verging on horror. I always find immensely rich families interesting in books. They lead lives that the majority of humans will never experience and it seems that with more money comes more problems. Yet they go to great lengths to keep their secrets hidden. That is exactly the case with Aunty in this story. You know she is hiding horrible secrets and you know from her inner dialogue that she doesn’t think in coherent thoughts. Throughout the book you are left wondering just how awful her secrets might be. Throw in a second insane supporting character and you have scenes that are outright frightening.
Getting into the mind of a truly crazy person was outright chilling. Yet, I think it is the complexity of the characters that make this thriller truly memorable and immersive. I felt genuinely scared of these characters and In The Vines left me questioning the people in my life. Is someone I know hiding their crazy?
I did have a hard time getting into the book at first. And since finishing, I have read several other reviews that mention that same thing. The first third of the book or so seemed very disjointed and I wasn’t really sure what exactly was going on. It was almost confusing. In retrospect, I am wondering if that was the point, to immerse the reader in an unreliable story to throw you off. But I kept going and all of a sudden, I just couldn’t put it down. Once I knew where things were heading, I had to find out the answers and it was even worse than I could have imagined.
Overall, this story is very dark and compelling and I greatly enjoyed it. My only complaint in the uneven pacing, but that is more of a personal preference. If you like creepy stories about crazy people and families with secrets, than you will love In The Vines. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.