The Anniversary by Cole Baxter review: It doesn't quite hit the mark

The Anniversary is the latest Cole Baxter book out. It's a thriller that doesn't quite hit the mark when it comes to suspense.
Amazon apps 2018
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I love psychological thrillers that are able to send me through wild twists and turns. The Anniversary by Cole Baxter started to set that up, but it failed to follow through.

Disclaimer: I got this books for free via NetGalley in return for an honest review

Let me start by saying that Cole Baxter is one of those authors I do find hit and miss in the psychological thriller genre. There are times that he gets the twists perfect, and then there are times that everything seems just a little too predictable.

It’s hard to tell when that’s going to happen, though. I do tend to take a look at reviews before I buy one of his books now. I do find that others who leave reviews on Goodreads tend to hit the nail on the head with each of his books.

What is The Anniversary by Cole Baxter about?

The novel takes place immediately after a car accident. Tom and Catherine were celebrating their wedding anniversary when there is a car accident. Catherine is in the hospital, and it turns out that Tom claims that she was the one driving. Only, she knows that she wasn’t. The question is why Tom would lie about this.

Catherine spends the book going through a series of manipulation and gaslight tactics on Tom’s behalf. We know immediately who the antagonist is throughout this. That gets me straight into the review.

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The Anniversary review

The set-up of the book is intriguing at first. I was curious about two things: why didn’t the police know that Tom was driving, and what was he hiding?

In the end, there were elements of the story that just didn’t make sense. All it would take is for characters to actually talk to each other and the truth would come out. Tom wouldn’t get away with half of the things that he did. Yes, I know that gaslighting is real and that it messes with the brain chemistry, but it just felt like so much of this book relied on Catherine having zero idea that her husband was capable of lying to her.

A lot of the story is predictable, as well. Tom is the clear villain, and there’s no way around that. His minions are doing his dirty work. Catherine is the heroine who needs to piece it all together. We’re supposed to be learning things as Catherine does, but it’s easy to see how this story is going to play out.

On top of that, it’s only 250 pages long (in my NetGalley app). That’s not long enough for a twisty psychological thriller. I can deal with illogical and annoying characters as long as the story is intriguing and fun. This one just wasn’t.

To be honest; if it wasn’t for reviewing this book, I wouldn’t have finished it.

Stars: 1 out of 5.

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The Anniversary by Cole Baxter is available via Bookouture.