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Book Review: In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead

“In My Dreams I Hold a Knife” is an intriguing and enigmatic novel penned by author Ashley Winstead. With its intense storyline, intricate character development, and a suspenseful atmosphere, this book is a rollercoaster ride that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Winstead’s masterful storytelling and ability to delve into the darkest corners of the human psyche make “In My Dreams I Hold a Knife” an absolute must-read for fans of psychological thrillers.

From the very first chapter, “In My Dreams I Hold a Knife” grabs hold of readers’ attention and never lets go. The story centers around a gripping central plotline that intertwines dreams, nightmares, and a chilling murder, leaving readers guessing until the very end.

Six friends attend their ten year college reunion, and are made to confront the truth behind a tragedy they’d all tried to leave behind. In college, a seventh friend, Heather, was murdered, and her boyfriend Jack was the prime suspect and immediately ostracized by his friends. But Jack was never convicted, and at the reunion, Heather’s younger brother Eric confronts the group, proclaims Jack’s innocence, and announces that the real murderer is among them.

One of their number, Jessica Miller is headed back to Duquette University to attend her ten-year class reunion. She is keen to show her former gang, collectively known as the East House Seven, that she has made it. Jessica is a deeply flawed overachiever. When it came to her female friends, Jessica is petty and jealous. At the same time, I kinda sympathised with her, as she spent her younger years, trying to live out her father’s dreams.

One of the novel’s strengths lies in the depth and complexity of its characters. Winstead skillfully crafts a diverse cast, each with their own secrets, motivations, and hidden pasts. As the layers of these characters are slowly peeled away, readers are left constantly questioning their true intentions, blurring the lines between heroes and villains. The author’s ability to create such multi-dimensional characters adds richness and depth to the story, further enhancing the overall reading experience. Each character was despicable in their own way, which made the novel so much more fun!

“In My Dreams I Hold a Knife” explores themes of guilt, trauma, and the unreliability of memory with great nuance. Winstead navigates these themes delicately, always leaving room for interpretation and contemplation. The psychological depth of the novel is both thought-provoking and unsettling, as it dives into the complexities of the human mind and the ways in which our past experiences can shape the present.

The author’s ability to maintain a high level of suspense throughout the book is commendable. With each twist and turn, Winstead expertly keeps readers guessing, leaving them on the edge of their seats. The building suspense and the unexpected revelations make “In My Dreams I Hold a Knife” a true page-turner that will keep readers hooked until the very end.

“In My Dreams I Hold a Knife” is a thrilling and intricately crafted academic thriller that showcases Ashley Winstead’s talent for storytelling. With its irresistible plotline, well-developed characters, and atmospheric writing style, the novel offers a captivating reading experience for fans of the genre. Winstead’s exploration of psychological depth, combined with a masterful balancing of suspense, makes this book a must-read for anyone seeking a gripping work of fiction that will leave them guessing until the final page.

The book reminds me strongly of “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt. You could almost say that this novel is a successor to that one. Just one thing- where is the knife in this book?

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