The Alphabet House was a very well crafted crime thriller that began when two British soldiers were stranded behind enemy lines after their plane crashed during World War II. Bryan and James boarded a train, and when they discovered injured German soldiers aboard, they made a quick decision to take the place of two of them. Their risky decision led to terrifying consequences.
I was absolutely captured by the story of Bryan and James’ will to survive. The morbid scenes inside the insane asylum more than adequately depicted torture in the name of medicine and displayed how difficult it would be for the men to escape. Just when I became comfortable with the events, the author took the story in a new direction. These constant peaks in action all made sense and moved the story along very well. Initially, I was not all that impressed with the writing, which was too straightforward and lacked any flowery language or background information on the characters. Later, there was more substance to it, but throughout the book the writing was inconsistent. Although the author used this novel to make several statements about the war, mental illness, and survival, the book really examined the relationships between friends, captors, and lovers. It was absolutely brilliant for the author to use James as the recipient of devotion by people in each of those ways. Yet, I needed the author to focus more on the relationships between some of the characters because there just wasn’t enough motivation for some of their actions.
Each time I put the book down, I was anxious to continue reading it. Much of what took place was ridiculous, but I would describe this book as ridiculously good!