Book Review: Ellipsis by Nikki Dudley

24 Mar

Ellipsis by Nikki DudleyGenre: Psychological thriller

Publisher: Sparkling Books

Pub date: Sep 2010

Source: Publisher via BookPleasures.com

Ellipsis – something that has been omitted or not said. In this story, it refers to something left incomplete, something that was not understood. And the characters do everything they can in their own ways to resolve this incompleteness.

Synopsis (from book jacket)
Ellipsis is a disturbing thriller stemming from what is left unsaid, what bounces around in the mind and evaporates when trying to remember. Can there be a conclusion when no-one seems to know the truth?

“Right on time,” Daniel Mansen mouths to Alice as she pushes him to his death. Haunted by these words, Alice becomes obsessed with discovering how a man she didn’t know could predict her actions. On the day of the funeral, Daniel’s cousin, Thom, finds a piece of paper in Daniel’s room detailing the exact time and place of his death. As Thom and Alice both search for answers, they become knotted together in a story of obsession, hidden truths and the gaps in everyday life that can destroy or save a person.

Review
I found this a difficult book to read. I’m not a very big fan of the first person narrative and much prefer to hear the story from the all-knowing narrator. In addition, part of the narration was by a psychologically disturbed woman who had just killed someone.

This is a psychological thriller that asks these questions: how can someone can feel so alienated from everyone around them? How is it even when someone is living in close quarters with people who care, no one around them has any idea how lost they feel?

Alice is plagued by the fact that Daniel expected her to kill him and even knew the exact time when he would. She is more obsessed with this fact than with the guilt of having pushed someone to their death.

Thom is devastated by his cousin’s death. Obsessed with finding out what happens, he gets completely immersed in his grieving and then in making some sense of what happened to his cousin. Old issues of losing his parents also begin to haunt him again. As Thom descends further into the darkness, Alice seems to find a little more clarity in her life.

On the whole, this book didn’t work for me – not just because of the subject matter, but also because some parts of it felt unreal or incomplete. The writing was strong and evocative, but the plot itself was not convincing to me.

Thom’s obsession with finding out what happened was not as problematic as the fact that the grieving family accepted a strange woman into the home. I struggled to be understanding about some of the choices that the characters make.

More than a mystery, this is a psychological study. It throws up questions and some understanding of how someone can feel so lost and insignificant and how the people they leave behind cope with a death of someone close to them.

Verdict
The writing is lovely and very poetic. If you’re interested in a slightly dark psychological study of the human mind, then this is a good book for you.

Rating: 3*

*See my Rating policy

Do you agree with my review, or do you think I’m way off? Just want to say hi? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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2 Responses to “Book Review: Ellipsis by Nikki Dudley”

  1. Sakhi March 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    This seems like a fascinating book. I’m interested in seeing a psychological thriller from the first person, I’m pretty sure its a tough proposition. And I love dark. 🙂

    • stargazerpuj March 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

      It didn’t really work for me – but you should give it a try – it is a well-written book no doubt!

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