And Hope to Die by J.M. Calder

“MURDER CAN BE CHILD’S PLAY”

And Hope To Die - J.M. Calder

What got my attention to read this novel was purely the synopsis on the back-cover as I have never heard of J.M. Calder or even read any novels written by J.M. Calder. I initially thought that J.M. Calder was a guy but learnt that J.M. Calder was actually two male authors, John Clanchy and Mark Henshaw.

Another thing that drew me to the novel was the last sentence in the synopsis – Cross your heart… and then I linked it to the title and then obviously linked it back to the storyline – about kids being kidnapped… Cross your heart and hope to die is as we all know, the old children’s saying for when they give their word or saying that their promises have merit or that they could be trusted. And I found out that the “giving” your word is what the psychopaths in this novel toys with to play a cat and mouse game with the other characters in the novel.  So I thought what a clever way to link the title and storyline and that last sentence in the synopsis and I told myself that it could be interesting…

Enough about my analysis of the title, authors and storyline, let me tell you about my thoughts and feelings while reading And Hope to Die.

In the beginning this novel was very boring for me; in fact it was boring right up until half-way through that I almost wanted to give up reading the book. The reason why I find it boring was because it seemed to drag the whole time, like the novel was going around in circles but getting nowhere really. The first half is just basically about the detective and lieutenant that is trying to find a psychopath and a missing/kidnapped child of a very influence man but don’t really get anywhere in terms of leads. So nothing exciting really happens. However, with all this said there were bits and pieces that kept me interested and that’s partially the reason why I did not push this book aside and start with another one.

The “action” only started happening in the second half. I found the second half to be more psychologically mind-blowing and only then started liking the novel. I actually find myself trying to figure out the inner workings of the psychopath’s mind. And why is he playing mind games with the detectives but one lieutenant, Solomon known as Solly, Glass is more the person of interest for this psycho. You honestly have no clue whatsoever throughout as whom this psycho can be as it was not predictable or for one bit obvious.

He targets clever kids, the ones who have the ability to read and play music very well and then he hurts them in the most gruesome way that will affect any future involvement with music. It becomes obvious that this psycho has harvested hatred in his heart for kids who play a music instrument and you can almost pick up that it is a childhood psychological issue.

So overall, the first half was boring and the second half was really exciting. I just feel the authors could have made the first part a bit more thrilling in order not to “lose” readers before they even get to the best part of the novel.

Synopsis on back cover:

When a fourth child is taken, Solomon Glass knows what to expect: an announcement letter to the mother, making a promise – kill yourself and your child will be released. He knows because two women are dead already.

Glass has just survived his own nightmare – a tragedy, an internal investigation and a spell off the force. In his race to uncover the kidnapper, Glass must enter the darkest side of himself, a place he’s barely able to go but where he knows he will find the answers. And the more he learns, the more he suspects that’s exactly what the kidnapper wants him to do. So he begins a deadly game of cat and mouse, played for the highest stakes of all.

And Hope to Die is a dark, powerfully compelling psychological thriller that will chill you to the core. Cross your heart…

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12 thoughts on “And Hope to Die by J.M. Calder

  1. Last time I read a book that dragged until halfway of the story was The Historian – it was terribly long and for such a lengthy to only start becoming exciting half way through really annoyed me! I ended up finishing the novel (2 months later) because I paid alot for it…

    This one however… The story line sounds interesting (disturbing actually, since I’m a music person) but do you think I should pick this one up?

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