Review–Trust No One by Paul Cleave

Trust No One by Paul CleaveJerry Grey is a best-selling crime author, writing under the pseudonym, Henry Cutter. Sadly, Jerry is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 49. He decides to do what authors do best and write about his experiences in a journal (not a diary, mind you). Soon, he begins to find himself wandering from the nursing home he’s living in and women in his city are dying. It’s not long before the police come knocking at his door, but is it really Jerry who is committing these crimes?

This novel alternates between two points of view–one is Jerry’s journal, told from an odd narrative point of view “you did this today, Jerry” and written in the months immediately following his diagnosis; the other is present-day Jerry, told from a traditional third-person perspective. These two alternating timelines, told from different perspectives, show us how unreliable Jerry is as a narrator… but is he capable of murder.

The premise of this novel is certainly unique and very intriguing. I found the writing exceptionally sophisticated, weaving the tragedy of Jerry’s diagnosis with a natural wry humor; however, the premise got bogged down under the weight of trying to solve the mysteries. I was fully immersed in the plot and thinking this was one of my top 10 books of the year, until about 1/4 way through when I had to totally suspend disbelief (which I do not mind doing) as the murder mystery portion took over and Jerry’s personal exploration took the back seat. I felt like the ending did not quite fit the overall narrative or tone of the book, but generally, I still very much enjoyed this book. It turned out to be pretty good summer reading, despite several plot holes, inconsistencies in characters, and sometimes just plain silliness.

I received this book for free from Netgalley