July has been cruising when it comes to books!
Thanks to Gallery Books for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review
TEMPER – Layne Fargo (out now!)
Check back for the #allthebookreviews thoughts on this one!
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars!
There have been a lot of great thriller debuts this year and TEMPER is one of them! If you’re looking for a good psychological thriller, then I would definitely recommend Layne Fargo’s TEMPER. We get a glimpse into the world of theater and the mind games that ensue between actress Kira and her director and co-star Malcolm.
Kira is an actress living in Chicago, she’s awaiting her next audition for the newest play being put on by Malcolm Mercer and his partner Joanna. Malcolm has made a reputation for himself in the industry as difficult to work with and has been known to play mind games with his stars. That being said, he also considered to be brilliant. We alternate between Kira’s perspective and Joanna’s perspective throughout the book. After Kira gets the part we are brought on a roller coaster of mind games between Kira and Malcolm, all while Joanna tries to keep the production together.
The dynamics between the characters is really complicated and twisted. Joanna and Malcolm co-own their theater company and have worked together for decades. Joanna has seen Mal with countless actresses but he has never looked at her as more than just a business partner. She becomes paranoid that there is something more going on between Mal and Kira – is she imagining things or is her jealousy getting the best of her? Is Malcolm pushing Kira too far or is she the one that can’t control herself?
So many questions and it almost felt like we had two unreliable narrators at different parts in this book. This one took me a little bit to get into, but once I did then I couldn’t put the book down. I think there were parts that did feel a little confusing but I feel like that was intentional with how the characters are intertwined. Overall, I would highly recommend putting this one on that summer TBR and I know I’ll be looking for more from Layne Fargo in the future!