“Methods of Madness” by Stephanie Black is not a story I normally would have read. I don’t usually read suspense novels, nor do I usually read LDS fiction. However, the lady that I work for likes both and so I listened to, rather than read, thus book. She listens to a lot of audio books. And I mean a lot. She’s pretty much cleaned the library out of all of their books…or at least the ones by LDS authors. She doesn’t go in for sex and bad language or graphic descriptions of violence. I think she’s going to need to move on to kids books soon. Because our tastes in books are so different I usually just tune them out when she listens to them. But occasionally one of the books pulls me in. “Methods of Madness” was one of those books.
This story starts with a tragedy, Emily’s sister is killed and her fiance dispersers on the same night, which sadly happens to be her birthday. Fast forward several years and she’s moved on, newly engaged to a lovely young man named Zach, who is just about the sweetest guy you can find. But things don’t stay happy for long, there are threats and fake blood and a murder that make Emily think she’s crazy. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t see the ending coming. That’s unusual for me. Usually I can peg it down early on, but not this time. It came out of left field for me, which was awesome. I love being surprised.
This is an LDS fiction book, so there is an element of religion in it. That being said, it’s subtle. It explains how Emily would know and move in circles with people who are so different than her. It explains how her mother knows casual acquaintances and other things like that. And, like all faith based fiction, it gives the main character a kind of overriding faith to fall back on that you don’t see in most popular fiction these days. It’s quite refreshing.
In all, I’d say that this is a very good book. The suspense is there, the story is captivating, and while there were a few characters that I didn’t care for, the were mostly very well written.