Roach – bookseller, loner and true crime obsessive – is not interested in making friends. She has all the company she needs in her serial killer books, murder podcasts and her pet snail, Bleep.
That is, until Laura joins the bookshop.
Smelling of roses, with her cute literary tote bags and beautiful poetry, she’s everyone’s new favourite bookseller. But beneath the shiny veneer, Roach senses a darkness within Laura, the same darkness Roach possesses.
As Roach’s curiosity blooms into morbid obsession, it becomes clear that she is prepared to infiltrate Laura’s life at any cost.
Hi and welcome to my review of Death of a Bookseller!
Everything about Death of a Bookseller screamed my name, the title, the cover, the blurb, there was no way I could walk away from it and I had a feeling I’d have a great time with it. And although Death of a Bookseller was not quite what I expected it to be, I did enjoy it.
Death of a Bookseller is told from the alternating perspectives of Laura and Roach, who are both booksellers but seem to have little else in common. Scratch the surface though, and you find two complicated, damaged, vulnerable but tough women, each in their own way. I’m not sure I liked either of them, but they did keep my attention and interest throughout, and I did come to understand where they were both coming from.
What it boils down to is that Roach is drawn to Laura but the more she insists on developing this relationship, the more Laura withdraws. It doesn’t help that Roach is obsessed with true crime, while Laura has her own reasons for despising the genre.
Judging by the cover, I had expected a little more action and a little more blood than I actually got. This is a psychological thriller that is all about the psychological aspect of this toxic relationship. It explores the depths of obsession and portrays a slow descent into something akin to madness. In its own understated way, it’s devastatingly creepy.
Although Death of a Bookseller wasn’t exactly oomphing, I was entertained throughout. I enjoyed the slow burn and the build-up. And the setting, obviously, I mean, it’s set primarily in a bookshop, what more can you possibly need?! However, I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a bit more oomph and pizazz towards the finale. I would have liked it if the build-up had led to a slightly more dramatic ending. Although I have to admit the epilogue is rather chilling.
Overall, I had a great time with Death of a Bookseller and if you enjoy slow-burning psychological thrillers I would definitely recommend this one.
Death of a Bookseller is out in hardcover, digital formats and audio on 27 April.
Massive thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own.