banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

BOOK REVIEW: EVERYONE ON THIS TRAIN IS A SUSPECT by Benjamin Stevenson

| 29 February 2024 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: EVERYONE ON THIS TRAIN IS A SUSPECT by Benjamin Stevenson
Penguin Random House
October 2023
Paperback – $32.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
82%

Benjamin Stevenson’s Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone was a big hit in 2022, with the rights being sold quickly for a HBO film adaptation. In it, Ernie Cunningham – a writer of How To Write guides – reunited with his dysfunctional family in a ski lodge which is struck by a blizzard amid a murderer’s rampage.

The fictional Cunningham wrote a book about his experiences (slightly meta), and in this follow-up, is struggling to formulate a truly fictional plot for his own follow-up. He’s attending a writer’s convention held on another isolated location, this time a train – The Gahn, which travels from Darwin to Adelaide – when bodies again start mounting up. He is accused, of course – potentially a murderer, if only out of desperation for a suitable plot for his next book. (Now we’re really getting meta)

Once again Stevenson has assembled a lineup of potentially guilty suspects, all with their own lurid, sad or vengeful motives for wanting some of the other attendees dead. The skill here is in the telling, and Stevenson gets it right most of the time – except where he lets his meta-commentary get in the way.

It’s cute and fun to be writing your second novel about a fictional author who is stuck writing their second novel, but I didn’t need to be reminded constantly how many times the murder’s name would be mentioned, nor repeatedly informed that the ‘rules’ of such thrillers dictate that the narrator cannot be the killer.

Apart from this, Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect is a great read and will undoubtedly be adapted into a very enjoyable miniseries or movie. I’m also looking forward to Stevenson’s next effort – though I am hoping it will be a little less meta.

Category: Book Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.


banner ad
banner ad