34 Days by Anita Waller




There’s very little I can say about the specifics of this book, since the blurb gives only the broadest overview.  I don’t want to spoil anything, so this is going to be a tricky review to write… but I’ll do my best to entice your reading appetite.

The morning of their 35th anniversary, Anna left her husband, Ray, who is an abusive, controlling man. Days later, she is stunned when someone close to her confides a shocking secret about Ray.  Anna finds herself swept away by a force she can’t control, knowing it will change the lives of everyone she loves, but is utterly powerless to prevent what’s coming.

34 Days has a swiftly moving plot, and it kept my eyes glued to the page (er… screen). I finished this one over the course of a single day, anxious to see what would happen next. I enjoyed reading the story, and cared about Anna, hoping that all would end well for her, despite the crazy circumstances she found thrust upon her life.

As I reflect upon the story as a whole, however, there were a few things I found wanting. Anna’s decision to leave Ray happens immediately, so there was no opportunity for the reader to want this to happen. We’re told Ray isn’t a good guy, and there are examples of this given later on in the story, but I think I would have preferred to figure this out for myself—perhaps in a brief chapter or two that took place in the early years of the marriage—rather than being plunged into the midst of her decision in the opening chapter of the novel. I wanted to cheer her on for being courageous enough to leave… but I knew absolutely nothing about her marriage, so I wasn’t sure if I should be happy for her or not.

I often wished the characters had been fleshed out a bit more, as so little is known about many of them. Particularly Ray, since he is the root cause for much of what happens in this book. The story revolves around two particular characters, but even with them, I found myself wishing I knew more about them—by what I was shown, not told. Several of the characters felt like window-dressing, and had very little impact on the story as a whole.

Many novels drop you right into the action, without giving the reader a chance to get to know the characters, and—depending on the story in question—can work well. I think 34 Days, on the other hand, would have benefited a great deal by doing the opposite. I would have felt infinitely more connected to Anna and other characters if I’d had time to get to know them prior to the main events being kicked off.

Don’t get me wrong: I did enjoy reading this novel. I thought the premise was very good, and was excited to see what happened. There were a couple of explosive twists at the end that I loved, because they were so surprising. But I can’t help but regret not being able to truly connect with Anna on such a level as to deeply care what happened to her—to be rocked to the core when something didn’t go well for her. Even though I cared, it wasn’t to that degree.

I definitely had a mixed reaction to this book, but I’m glad I read it.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Bloodhound Books via Netgalley.

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Author: Anita Waller
Title: 34 Days
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publication Date: October 3, 2017 by Bloodhound Books
Rating: 3 stars

About the Book

34 Days: A gripping psychological thriller from an international best-selling author

How much can your life change in just 34 days?

Anna and Ray have been married for thirty-five years. They are parents and grandparents and appear to be a normal couple. But behind closed doors something isn’t right.

On the day of their wedding anniversary Anna makes a decision that changes everything and throws her family into turmoil. Anna will discover that she is not the only one who has suffered and by leaving Ray she sparks a series of events so awful that it might just end in murder…

34 days is a stunning psychological thriller from the best-selling author of Beautiful & Angel. It will appeal greatly to fans of Kathryn Croft, Rachel Abbott, B A Paris & Louise Jensen.

2 thoughts on “34 Days by Anita Waller

    • Thanks!

      I think I must be paying more attention to that sort of thing, because this isn’t the first time I’ve made note of it in a review. I find it so disappointing when I can’t truly connect with any character in a novel. I want to be sad to say goodbye to them once I’ve reached the end… not forget all about them when I move on to the next book.


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