The Night Bird grabbed me from the first scene. A girl who’s perfectly fine one second, and then crawling out of her skin the next, and discovering she’s not the only one this is happening to? I was hooked.
Psychological thrillers — heck, thrillers of any kind — can be hard for me to definitively rate. While they’re one of my favorite genres when I’m looking for a quick read, they either have me flying through the pages looking for answers, or they don’t. (Stephen King might be the exception, because man, he can WRITE. But I digress.)
The two things this book has going for it are the plot and characterization. I immediately liked Frost Easton. His character seemed warm, kind, sympathetic, and just quirky enough. (Shack might have been my favorite character of them all!) He made me feel that if anyone could solve this case, it was him. Through numerous plot twists and some gruesome scenes (reader beware), I was never bored. In fact, I barely put it down, finishing it in about 24 hours. Even the sense of place is well characterized — you feel as if you’re right there in San Francisco with Frost, Lucy, and Frankie.
The way it played with the idea of memory was intriguing and made me think more than most books of this genre do. Are we really able to manipulate memories, erasing and replacing them with new ones? And even if we can, should we?
The Night Bird had two of the main things I look for in thrillers: plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments and an ending I couldn’t figure out. Plus, it had just the creep factor I was craving for the first month of fall.
The way that Freeman wrote about San Francisco turned sense of place into its own character. I liked his descriptions of the bridge, the constant dampness, and the fog. This book was a great selection.