Book Review “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore”, Matthew Sullivan

“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.”
William Shakespeare, Othello

Do you remember Othello, “an honourable murderer”? Meet him again in a new modern interpretation. Our Othello doesn’t kill Desdemona, because he’s too smart. But he is simply ‘slashing’ the whole family of Cassio (Desdemona had affair with that guy).

Suspicion – Jealousy – Knowing the Truth leads us to -> ‘Murder and Suicide’

The Book “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore” by Matthew Sullivan deserves a read, simply because you don’t understand what’s going on until the end. It’s impossible to guess who’s the BAD GUY. I mean he’s showing up only on the last pages. LAST 20 pages!!!
I’m going to rate the book 3,5 from 5 (omg! what happened?? where’s 4??

The title of the book is screaming to us obvious – SOMETHING HAPPENED at the bookstore. That SOMETHING is a suicide: a young guy hangs himself in the Western History alcove. No, he didn’t want to kill himself while backpacking in Antarctica in his undies or by swallowing cute hairy spiders in a canoe, in Africa. He loved the bookstore: avid reader, regular customer, weird, young, don’t talk much.

The girl who found him, Lydia, is working in that store.
She saw a photograph of her as a child (10 yo, blowing out candles on a chocolate cake) in the pocket of the dead body. And we all know you can’t touch anything at the place of the crime/or suicide, but Lydia plucked the photo from the jeans of our hanging hero and… THATS OKAY. Otherwise bye-bye Matthew Sullivan and the book!

The thing is…we must to hang that poor bookaddict-fella in the beginning of the book. Because without him Lydia would never find out who is the HammerMan.

What does it have to do with Othello?
HammerMan and Othello is the same kinda guy.
But we don’t know about it yet. 

Lydia’s father worked at the library and was a loner. Her mom died. And she had only 2 friends: Raj and Carol. One evening Lydia decided to stay over in the house of her friend, Carol. Not a good choice! Because the HammerMan arrives, kills the whole family (bloody fkn hell), but saves Lydia’s life. She is moving out of the city, blah-blah-protection, everybody’s waiting when the HammerMan going to strike again. But he just dissolved in the air like he never even existed.

Why the HammerMan killed the whole family (mother, father, a girl) but left the other girl alive, untouched? Mystery? Yap! This question is hunting Lydia whole her life.

Let me mention, the policeman, who investigated a crime, found a lot of evidence against Lydia’s father. And some way she believed in all that during many years. Her father had an affair (very shy affair, I have to tell you, no sex, just dreams) with the mother of her friend Carol (the woman was hot, we can’t blame him).
He had zero dating skills, but a big heart. The woman had a huge dark tunnel thirsty for a fleeting quick sex. But poor Lydia’s father didn’t know that. He stuck in the romantic books…

Jealousy is a fever that kills.
Still Lydia’s father is not our HammerMan or Othello.

So let’s get back to the Suicide-Guy. Yes, it’s depressing, I know. But it is an unusual suicide. The guy leaves Lydia a lot of secrets messages hidden in the pages of the different books.

So the red line of the story: a hidden messages and the ‘HammerMan’.

Do you remember that Lydia had one more friend, a boy, named Raj? He grew up. And now they are hanging out sometimes and talk about what happened with them. Ah, memories! That’s how Lydia will find out who is the HammerMan. Haha.

No, no…I can’t tell you more. You have to crack the secret of Othello by yourself!

Use ‘suspicion and jealousy’! Thats the only way…

I dont like:
– the stylistics: the sentences are over-detailed, I have problems with reading such texts, thats why I’m never buying fantasy-books. If you are a fantasy-fan – you’ll like the style.

I like:
-the plot: I wanted to drop the book (because of the writing style), but the plot was so twisted and not knowing who is the HammerMan just pushed me to read to the end.
-Lydia’s character. 
-a lot of dialogues (so this book is not too-boring). 
-I liked the cover as well: touches our bookworms-hearts.

There’re a lot of lessons in this novel, but I think the one we all have to remember is – my heart is too valuable to allow hatred and jealousy to rent a spot there. Enjoy the reading!

“What is jealousy but a reflection of your own failures?”
Michael Connell


Next week as planned – 26 February – 4 March

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Victoria Ray NB View All →

Living in Sweden. Awesome. Happy. Writing. Ayurvedic food. Healthy lifestyle. Dogs. Literature. Drawing. Meditation/Yoga.

25 Comments Leave a comment

    • Yeah…but I was a bit disappointed tho. We expect to know and study heroes and “guess”…here’s impossible to guess bcz the hero isn’t there, but only showing up on the last pages :))

    • He did. But not the bad guy.
      Only a young boy. In the beginning of the book.
      The HammerMan (bad guy, killer) was alive and in a great shape all years..until Lydia found him.

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