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I received a copy of Bradstreet Gate for review…and I was really looking forward to it! Comparisons made to Tartt’s Secret History and The Interestings (loved the former, felt the latter was not as interesting as the characters thought they were!) And I love mysteries, and looking at this, I had some sense that it might be a thriller – all right up my alley!

But Bradstreet Gate was difficult for me to read…it kind of plodded along, and I admit I left it twice to read other things. There was plenty of plot, and the writing is excellent. I thought the characters were well drawn, and I kind of loved that the three main characters (Charlie, Georgia and Alice) were all troubled souls who seemed to be looking to advance up the social hierarchy as a result of attending Harvard (a not unreasonable progression, IMHO). The book is ostensibly focused around the murder of another student, Julie Patel, but really it evolves into a chronicling of several outwardly successful Harvard graduates and their various ways to deal with their acquired privilege and to squander their lives in a decade…

The other character, Storrow, sort of creeped me out (again, well written to have such an effect on the reader). The ending of the book was not wrapped in a tidy bow, and there were several subplots left unresolved.

I think perhaps I just didn’t care enough about the characters. While they were well drawn and fully developed (the three main characters, at least), they were so well developed that they became real people…none of whom I liked.

Possibly my expectations were too high. In any case, the writing was good enough that I will definitely read Kirman’s next book!

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