The Hand That Feeds You, by A.J. Rich (2015)

The Hand That Feeds YouThis psychological thriller features a master’s student conducting research on victims and online predators. Testing her theory of victim typology, Morgan seeks out predators by posting five “victim type” profiles on various dating sites, as well as her own profile in order to create a control group. She is currently dating Bennett, who responded to her normal profile, and the novel opens with the shocking discovery of his body in her apartment, the victim of a vicious dog attack. Morgan fosters rescue dogs, and the evidence points to her pit bulls George and Chester. She is in disbelief, but the autopsy results are incontrovertible. When her lawyer brother tells her he can’t locate Bennett’s family, Morgan realizes everything Bennett told her is a lie. The mystery of Bennett’s murder and life before Morgan unfolds slowly. There are just enough clues that I identified the killer before Morgan did, but still well into the novel. Characterization is complex, but somehow falls flat. I found myself confused by Morgan’s actions more than once, and never warmed up to her. The descriptions of Brooklyn and other neighbourhoods in NYC add a strong setting to the story, and the rescue dog plotline provides an interesting approach. A good choice for fans of Kathy Reich’s novels who can handle the occasional graphic description and enjoy stories that explore our darker natures. My thanks to NetGalley for the advance reading copy in exchange for my honest review.
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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