Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Long Black Veil is a gripping "whodunit" book by Jennifer Finney Boylan, about a group of friends, a disappearance, murder, and the pull that the past can have. 

Short Description:
A group of friends visits Eastern State Penitentiary and accidentally get locked in. They separate and attempt to find a way out, however at the end of the night, when they finally are able to escape, one of their own is missing. 

Fast forward many years later. The remaining friends are all living new lives when a body is found and properly identified as their missing friend. Now, new lives and families are threatened by the discovery and the secrets from the past start to come out. 

My Thoughts:
The book goes back and forth a lot between past and present, which I typically hate in most books. I hated it in this one, too, to be honest. The cover is what attracted me to this book. When I read the plot, I was intrigued by the thrill and murder mystery. I love those types of books. The many characters to keep track of (and there are A LOT) had my attention drifting and I often wondered if I would be able to get through the book. Not only are you tasked with trying to keep track of a large cast of characters, but character names are abnormal and then some character names (and genders) change farther into the book. If you had trouble keeping track of who was who initially, it gets worse before it gets better. Eventually you catch up to who-is-who, but only if you can be drawn in enough to continue reading. There's one character who is a bit obese and I wasn't thrilled about how the author used every single opportunity to point that out. It seemed like each and every time that character comes up in the book, there's talk of his weight in a negative way. I felt like I was reading a book where every other character was perfect just the way they were, but Casey (the obese character) would always be a "fat ass" and that would never be accepted. It seemed almost like the author has something against overweight people to constantly be writing about how disgusting the obese character is. That part never made sense to me, especially since the author is perfectly fine with characters changing genders. If you are accepting of a person just being who they are, then why are we bullying the fat guy? 

This book is listed as a thriller, but the murderer is given away long before the ending, so the thrill is gone beyond that point, assuming you think it's thrilling up to there. I didn't. The story focuses more on the cast of seemingly undeveloped characters rather than the murder itself. 

Overall, I wasn't "thrilled" by it. It's just not my cup of tea. I struggled to finish it because it didn't hold my attention, and it's definitely not a book I would read more than once. 

*Disclosure: This product was received as a sample in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions on this blog are 100% my own. No monitory compensation was received and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising.


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