Chatroom with a view by Glenn Maynard

Rating : 4/5 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

The first thing that compelled me to read this book was its spooky cover. Dark bluish night in the woods and a wooden cabin give the impression of a horror story. However, the book is dark but not horror. It opens with a gruesome scene of excavating graves, a blood-drenched ax, a dead body, and a wounded man.

From this very first chapter, Troy Cullen’s decisions seem ununderstandable to me. If someone finds out his father has killed his mother, the natural response would be to get the culprit arrested rather than keeping him safe, fearing that police might consider him an accomplice. The rest of the story unfolds with similar bizarre decisions by all the characters.

Troy works as a restaurant manager with two waitresses Natalie and Marnie, with whom he happened to share a history. During their school days, he was a coy victim of their bullying. One day eavesdropping on their conversation about trapping some rich and hot men through online chatrooms gave him an idea of revenge. Later, he impersonated the type of guy who could lure those two. In the end, he held them captive in his house, but what exactly is his plan remains nebulous. It seems he doesn’t even have a plan. Along with this main storyline, his ex-girlfriend – Veronica, bombarded him with the news of her pregnancy. He doesn’t love her and wants to get rid of her.

The story of a murder, an injured father, two kidnapped waitresses, and a psycho ex-girlfriend goes in parallel. It is hard to lose interest when so much is going on in the story.

It is not mentioned in the novel, but I felt all the characters are psychopaths who don’t think before doing anything and hardly cares about the consequences. The most compelling character is Veronica. Her weird acts and talks motivated by her mental condition arouse a bone-chilling impact.

In summary, it is a fast-paced thriller, quite unusual from regular ones. The characters are hard to relate to and loathable to some limit. It is hard to guess what is going to happen next. The author has conscientiously managed to keep the readers captivated. I would recommend this as a book where you will hate everyone.

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