I received a free copy of A Living Grave from the publisher in return for an honest review.
I picked A Living Grave up in the wee small hours of the morning, it's now the wee small hours of the following morning and I haven't been able to put it down for any length of time. I kept being pulled back to it and picking it up every chance I had.
What really stood out in this book for me was the MC Katrina. I totally love her character, she's a smart, strong and feisty female that's not to be messed with but at the same time she's insecure, damaged and hurting on the inside. She's been to hell and back and is fighting to keep hell in her rear-view mirror and forget the demons of her past. She's not just words on a page, she's solid and fleshed out, she feels like a real person and is a character that I will remember many books down the line. All too often in books being a strong female means being portrayed as: a bitch, a man hater, jealous of the power/position a man holds, a damsel in distress with men falling at her feet, gets tons attention because she's pretty and they all secretly want to bed her, or makes a complete turn around and goes against everything she stands for just because she falls in love with a buff supporting male character who knows best... I could go on all day giving examples of overused female stereotypes in fiction. Thankfully, you won't find those cliche stereotypes here! It's very rare to find a good, well written strong female protagonist like Katrina. Bravo Mr Dunn.
I particularly enjoyed the way the story went back and forth, revealing Katrina's history bit by bit. I found myself so wrapped up in her backstory eager to know what was coming next and I'd flip the page to a new chapter only to find myself taken back to the present storyline and cursing in frustration. I wanted to go back, to stay on that one story and learn more. Then before I knew it I found myself totally engrossed in the present, and so forth. This style really drew me in and kept me engaged and eager to read on. I was totally at the mercy of the author's storytelling.
I wasn't a fan of the whole love at first sight thing going on, especially given Katrina's history. I feel that it happened a bit too quickly and easily, it felt out of character but I can see the reasoning behind it, it was needed for the story and drawing it out more would have ruined the pacing and made the book far too long. The dynamics and progression of the relationship was very well written and the feels were all too real at times but I still found myself struggling with how fast things developed between them.
I do feel that I need to point out that the storyline contains the topic of rape, a sensitive subject for some, so please be aware of that beforehand. I really hope there will be more from Katrina in the future, She really appealed to me and is a character that will not be forgotten easily. I feel like I got to know her as I would a real life person and I don't want to lose touch with her.
Definitely one I would recommend.