Book Review On ‘In My Dreams, I Hold A Knife By Ashley Winstead’, A Debut Novel That Every Mystery Reader Should Read.
‘In my dreams, I hold a knife’ is a new, riveting Mystery/Thriller, published on 3rd August 2021. It is a novel full of twists- featuring friendship, obsession with Attention, and deep anger that might affect the readers’ life in the best way possible. It is also a Debut novel of our author Ashley Winstead.
Published:- 3rd August 2021. Pages:- 368.
Premise And Characters:-
Jessica Miller has an invitation for a reunion at her former university, The University of Duquette. Promoted to a partner in a leading consultancy firm is quite an achievement. And she knows that this will surely get everyone talking. Especially the East house seven, who was Jessica’s former friends. And It’s also the perfect opportunity to blind her classmates with beauty and success. Make them see how changed she was from the last time she left campus. This time it has to be perfect. The thrill of getting attention and being the talk at an event has got Jessica obsessed.
The East House 7 was a group notorious for getting into trouble. They are popular for their friendship and their loyalty towards each other. Mint was Jessica’s sweetheart, Also the golden boy on campus. Frankie was the star athlete. Caro was the caretaker. Whereas Jack was the one born in a religious family. Jessica was the smart one. and last but not least was Heather. The bold one with the too big forehead. Courtney’s friend and the one who got what she wanted. Unfortunately, she was also the one who was drugged, the one who died, the one who got viciously stabbed 17 times by someone in the group.
Of course, this changed the course of their life. They are no longer as much in touch. Coop and Caro are engaged. Mint and Jessica are no longer together and Jessica has nightmares of a night she does not remember. Plagued with guilt and secrets, The east house 7 is not what it used to be before.
Heather, the one who died, Despite her too big forehead, was the confident one out of the entire group. She was also a limelight catcher. Not to mention she got everything handed to her on a silver platter. Naturally, Jack was the one to blame, as he was her boyfriend. Police also found the murder weapon (scissors) below Jacks’ bed. The fact that they were seen fighting did not help his case. Now, A decade later, Heathers’ heartbroken brother Eric knows that Jack is innocent. He knows that someone who belonged to East House 7 is a murderer. And he is dead set to find who.
This book has discussions on substance use, addiction, sexual abuse, and violence. There are also a few scenes with homophobia. Discussions on this topic are not graphic in nature.
Book Review On In My Dreams I Hold A Knife:-
This book came as a pleasant surprise. It was set in a dual timeline, one during their life in university and another during the time of their reunion. The alternating POV was much needed due to the plot and it shows us how far these characters have come. It provides an insight into the East House 7 thought process. We get to know them on such a level that every act they do feels personal to its readers. They are unlikeable. The complexities add to the intrigue and anticipation of the final reveal.
This novel gave me a young adult genre vibe due to most scenes taking place during the university period. It not only goes over the murder, but it deep dives into the friendship these characters share. The start of the novel focuses on how Jessica and her friends met and how their friendship progressed. Then it dives straight into what they have been hiding from each other all these years while discovering what happened on the night of the murder.
My Opinion On The Ending Of In My Dreams I Hold A Knife:-
This book gives you hints and snippets into each character’s life. It develops and progresses to the point of reveal. And It shows who the killer is in the smoothest way possible. It didn’t make me gasp and question how and what happened. But it did make me nod along and think how brilliantly the author ties everything together. It is a moment where you realize that all the pieces fit the puzzle and that made the most impression on me in this book. There were two scenes, one where you realize what had happened and another that you won’t see coming. Both of them came as a pleasant surprise.
Part murder mystery, part coming-of-age story, these imperfect people will test you in the best manner. Every flawed character in this book has a story. They will even persuade you to care about them a little by the end.
The Highlight Of This Book (Spoilers):-
There are a few mysteries that use side characters to shift the focus from the culprit. In ‘ In My dreams, I hold a knife’, This Dark-Academia explores them to the fullest. Their thoughts and trauma were an integral part of this book. It is definitely fast-paced and there are plot twists that made my head churn in a good way.
This book takes a peek at every member of east house 7 and the difference between them is glaringly obvious. While Heather was obsessed with right or wrong, Jessica craved and loved the attention. Mint was running from embarrassment, Frankie was taking steroids. Caro was spying on people, whereas Coop was selling drugs. Let’s not forget Jack who was bi-sexual and we have a concoction of secrets piled up in the group.
The way our author explores these people and lays out their familial secrets makes them a little bit real. What I loved about it the most was the dark campus atmosphere. It shows us to what heights some people can go, To get what they want. It shows us what a persons’ anger can make them do. Above all, It shows us how our thoughts mold our actions and make us the people we are today.
Read More:- The Heart Principle By Helen Hoang. The Third Book In The Kiss Quotient Series.