September 06, 2016
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There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this new thriller from Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar and Awake.
When Mackenzie treks to a secluded cabin in the woods with six friends, she expects a fun weekend of partying, drinking, and hookups. But when they wake to find two of their own dead and covered in blood, it's clear there's a killer among them.
As the police try to unravel the case, Mackenzie launches her own investigation. Before long secrets start to emerge, revealing a sinister web of sins among the original seven friends. The killer is still free. Every one of them is a suspect. And Mackenzie starts to realize that no one is innocent…
I think I was expecting more of The Cabin to take place in, well, the cabin. Very, very little of the actual action takes place inside the cabin, most of it is after the murders, after the discovery of the murders, as the investigation proceeds.
The main problem I had with this book was its inconsistency and that it stayed too superficial. (Yes, things were serious, possibly deadly serious but things never quite developed enough to keep me really invested.) We know that Mackenzie, Courtney, Megan, Aaron and Kyle are friends and that Mackenzie doesn't like Josh. After a bit we even learn part of why she dislikes him so much, why the others don't love him and what tragedy impacted their group recently. I never felt much of a connection with any of them, though.
It was hard to understand why Mackenzie was always talking about how Courtney was such a great best friend when it was clear that Mackenzie had real problems with Josh but her best friend continued to date him (and brush aside their concerns).
I liked that Mackenzie was determined to solve the mystery herself, but like she said (more than once) she maybe the 'worst person' to do so. It was much more that she wanted to clear her and her friends' names than that she had any real ideas about how to go about doing so. We mostly only learned things when characters chose to reveal their secrets themselves.
I did like that this group of friends and their relationships with each other turned out to be more twisted, full of secrets and lies and complicated than any would have first guessed. They could treat each other horribly, they drank too much and too often (especially after all that happened to them) but it definitely kept you guessing as to what really happened in that cabin. Even as Mackenzie was so sure that none of them was guilty, as a reader you really couldn't quite agree.
I think if we'd gotten to know the characters better - through present interactions or flashbacks to their past - and/or if there hadn't been several times where one part of the story contradicted an earlier part (usually small details or a character's view of an event) I could have been pulled into this one more.
Another Book You May Also Enjoy: The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy
review copy received from the publisher, via NetGalley