Book review: The Method – Duncan Ralston

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I am a big fan of Duncan Ralston. I loved his extreme novella, Woom, and I also loved the brooding supernatural novel, Salvage. The Method is very different to both of those books, which is good because it shows Ralston is anything but predictable. Whilst I enjoyed this book, it didn’t really blow me away from an originality perspective like Woom did, nor did I engage with the characters as much as I did with Owen Saddler from Salvage.

The concept of The Method is built around an expensive retreat where couples go to try to reignite the flame of love that has been lost between them. Frank and Linda are one such couple. Things seem to be going okay until the discovery of hidden cameras everywhere inside the retreat. Shortly after, things take a grim turn when Frank gets his leg caught in a bear trap and our couple tangle with some aggrieved locals, leading the story down a dark but slightly predictable path.

I won’t say any more as I don’t want to spoil anything. I was intrigued by the other guests staying at the lodge and the hidden cameras added an air of intrigue to the book. Frank and Linda are well drawn characters, but there was just something missing for me. The direction the book took was a little disappointing, too, and I felt it spoilt the good work that had been done up until then. A lot of people will dig it, but it all felt a little too familiar to me. The introduction of the locals transformed the book into something I’ve read many times before and all of the intrigue and originality was lost.

On the good side: the pacing of the book is excellent and there are some real cringe-worthy moments. Sadly, The final few chapters didn’t really work for me either. It all gets a bit silly, but hey, that’s just my opinion.

The Method certainly isn’t a bad book. It just left me feeling a little flat by the time I finished it. I had high expectations having previously enjoyed Ralston’s other books, perhaps too high. I’d certainly recommend Ralston’s work as he is a fine writer with a great imagination and above average writing skills. A lot of people will like this one, it just didn’t quite hit the target with me.

3/5 stars

Pick up a copy of this book from here.

 

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