Digital Reads Reviews

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The Revenge List by Hannah Mary McKinnon

Digital Reads Reviews is a blog-haven for book posts and reviews. This is a review of a suspenseful thriller, The Revenge List.
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Publication Date:May 2023

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They say life flashes before your eyes when you’re about to die. But all she could see was regret.

The people in Frankie Morgan’s life say she’s angry. Emotionally stunted. Combative. But really, who can blame her? It’s hard being nice when your clients are insufferable, your next-door neighbor is a miserable woman and the cowardly driver who killed your mother is still out living it up somewhere.

Somehow, though, she finds herself at her very first anger-management group session—drinking terrible coffee and learning all about how “forgiveness is a process.”

One that starts with a list.

Frankie is skeptical. A list of everyone who’s wronged her in some way over the years? More paper, please. Still, she makes the pointless list—with her own name in a prominent spot—and promptly forgets about it…until it goes missing. And one by one, the people she’s named start getting hurt in freak accidents, each deadlier than the last.

Could it be coincidence giving her the revenge she never dared to seek…or something more sinister?

If Frankie doesn’t find out who’s behind it all, she might be next.

My Review

What was it all about

The Revenge List was a book far off from Hannah Mary McKinnon’s style of writing. A thriller at its core, the book went a little overboard in its subplots and characterizations.

A standalone, the story had in its focus Frankie, a woman who had had wrongs done to her and her temper soared as she moved on with her life, making those tiny compromises. But she never forgot or forgave. 

Her dad made her join the anger management class, and she had to make a forgiven list with the names of all those who had hurt her. Soon, one by one, people on the list started getting hurt. 

And now it was down to Frankie to get to the bottom of it all.

The Hook

Trigger Warnings: Frankie should come with a warning herself, as it hardly took her anything to get angry, and her flareups soon became physical too. 

The book was compelling in a way because it felt to be similar to a train wreck where I couldn’t get off it and had to read it till the last page. 

But, if in the initial few pages, Frankie’s temper got to be too much, it would be better to read far more exciting thrillers and not waste your time on this. 

In fact, this author’s older works were well recommended as they are more suspenseful. 

The Characters

Oh my. Frankie did everything to make me dislike her. I loved characters with heightened passions because I could identify with them. But her tempers soared without a reason most times. 

She was judgmental, where only she and, to some extent, her brother and niece were important to her. The rest could take a hike with their problems. After all, in Frankie’s world, only Frankie mattered.

Caring about her and her issues in life became too overwhelming at one point in the book. Not that the rest of the characters, other than the brother, were good. Most of them had genuinely hurt the main character at different periods of her life.

The Intricacies

The core essential of the suspense was nice, but the book was too far-fetched in some of the subplots, especially when a new character entered in the last one-third, and they too didn’t endear themselves to me.

Don’t even get me started on the reasons they had their own revenge list. 

As per the norm, the epilogue had a twist and a hint of a book 2. The cat and mouse story would probably continue, and I hoped the author would make that more suspenseful.

The Setting

With anger dusting the air in almost every chapter, the setting of the scenes took nearly a backstop. Nevertheless, I could anchor Frankie into the book. 

For thriller lovers, it would be easily predictable. But sometimes, there was comfort in the known circumstances. 

The Pace

It was quite steady in the book since Frankie was always on the go, screaming at one or the other. Some needed her ire, but most didn’t. So even if you skipped some sections, you wouldn’t miss much. 

The book could just be skim-read in most of its chapters. That would make it a fast-paced book, right?

The style of writing - The Prose

The earlier books were better. They had nuances and were fleshed out. Here, the characters were one-dimensional and could easily get on your nerves. 

Maybe the author tried to write a different book with such a character. 

Frankie’s voice in the story was so compelling that I longed to switch her off. 

How it made me feel

First emotion and thought was – Shut up, Frankie. Didn’t anyone teach you how to be be civil to humans?

Second was, I could understand what made you so hot-tempered, Frankie, but you were in your forties now and were hurting the people you supposedly loved. Nah. That wouldn’t work at all. 

The book was predictable and the ending, expected. Some of the decisions that the main character took had me shocked. But the rest of the book moved in a singular frequency from start to finish. 

Do I recommend this book?

Why not? Maybe you too ought to know how fiery Frankie could be.

But get it from the library or borrow it from your friend. 

Check out the other books available on Amazon.

I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

If you’ve loved the review, buy me a cuppa to perk me up.

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2 Responses

  1. Yeah, sorry. Guess many of us start out with tempers sometimes hard to control. However, it does seem to mellow a bit as we age. As always, Shalini, great review if just that touch of irony and sense of humor I’ve come to expect of you.

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