Author: J.M. Robson
Published: February 2017
Publisher: Pegasus Publishers
Rating (all out of five)
Characters: ★★★ ½
Plot: ★★★ ½
Writing Quality: ★★★
Overall: ★★★ ½
Three little words is a horror/thriller/ghost story that places emphasis on the pain from a broken heart literally leading to death when the phrase ‘I love you’ is not reciprocated. Basically, some evil demons have escaped from hell to terrorise the world by feasting upon, and thence causing the death of, those with freshly broken hearts. The story mostly told through the perspective of the distraught Lilly Anne, who in the first chapter loses her husband because she could not repeat the words ‘I love you’ to him when he momentarily awakes from his coma, which obviously attracted a demon to make him scrawl a final message in blood to haunt her dreams… chamber of secrets anyone? By my synopsis, it’s probably pretty obvious that this is an intense book, with several deaths popping up, I wish I’d read it around Halloween!
Despite there being several key characters (at least 8) within less than 300 pages, the author manages to make each memorable, so the reader is in no way puzzled - this is a challenge for most writers, so I was very impressed with it. The plot itself was easy to follow, though perhaps a little too obvious around the end; I was hoping that there would be a majestic plot-twist to shock us all. I’m thrilled to report that the author is writing a sequel, which I hope will answer the questions the end of the book did not cover, the reader being uneasy about what next will occur. Another positive to the plot was that the subject of love was not merely constrained to heterosexual romance, featuring a homosexual couple and the familial love of a mother and her son. It was lovely to read a book that addressed love in all its forms without hesitation.
Lilly Anne develops a love interest fairly early on, a mere six months after her husband died. Under normal circumstances I’d have no problem with this but given the fact that her husband was literally possessed by a demon, you’d expect her to take more time to recover from the trauma and guilt. I did appreciate that their relationship was gentle and sweet within the book though, with each agreeing to stick to kisses and wait to get intimate, particularly as Lilly Anne was pregnant.
The description was good, especially for describing Bertha, but I felt it could have been improved in some areas. I’d have liked to have had more time devoted to creating full imagery, inclusive of all the senses, since the plot is pretty eccentric the writing should be instilling a sense of realism. The mourning itself was underplayed; with tragedy often comes sorrowful chapters of woe in any book that contains death. However, I’ll confess that the lack of wallowing in pity meant that the book flew by, with the swift pace making the book difficult to put down. I also feel the book could have included more chapters between the key events, perhaps focusing solely on self-condemnation and regret from having lost someone dear.
To conclude, this is quick read (I finished it in one evening, it's definitely a page turner) and the plot really provokes the moral that one should be gracious to those they love - else a demon might kill them! Though I felt the description could have been more in depth, it’s still a strong thriller with an intriguing story.
Here's the link to the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Little-Words-J-M-Robson/dp/1784652148/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490043762&sr=8-1&keywords=three+little+words+jm+robson
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