Becky’s Seventy-Eighth Book Review: “The Skeleton Key” by Jane Haddam

When I picked up this book I was under the impression that it was what the movie was based off of. Instead, this book has nothing to do with the movie. Part of the reason I did not realize that the book was a totally different story was because I have this theory that reading the back cover of a book gives ‘too much away’. So instead, I just start reading a book without knowing anything about it. The danger with this is that I went into the book expecting one plot and I got another instead. So when I started the book I was very disappointed that the story was different. 

Then it turns out that the book was really fucking good!! And, from what I can tell, the main character is in several more books. So now I need to go out and get my hands on those. Even though I went into this book expecting one thing and ended up getting something else, I am very glad that I picked up this book. I was very impressed with this author whom I had never heard of. 

One thing that I found very impressive was her character development. Each character was defined so well and while a lot of them were terrible people, I at least understood a bit where they were coming from. I think that it is nice when an author doesn’t focus exclusively on the main character but gives life to the supporting characters as well. This is what I found when reading “The Skeleton Key”. There was also a lot of language used that I liked and a certain truth to Jane Haddam’s writing. There are several examples that I could use, but my favorite was, “The truth of it was, of course, that people simply lied all the time. Even he lied. Nobody wanted to present themselves to the world in the full reality of what they were in the privacy of their own minds. Nobody was the person he wanted himself to be, or even the person he thought he ought to be. Nobody was without some corner of his life that embarrassed or shamed him.” (Skeleton Key, pg 230). I can definitely relate. 

Although the book got off to a bit of a rough start with me expecting something different than what I got, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good murder mystery. I was a little disappointed at the ending, but in a way it seemed to be more realistic than most. Not everything ends all happy and shiny. I think that is more real than what most books tend to do. 


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