Book Reviews

Four Found Dead by Natalie D. Richards – Book Review

The book cover of Four Found Dead by Natalie D. Richards

Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))

Four Found Dead by Natalie D. Richards – Book Details

TITLE – Four Found Dead

AUTHOR – Natalie D. Richards

CATEGORY/GENREyoung adult, thriller



MY RATING – 2.5 of 5


A huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Four Found Dead by Natalie D. Richards in exchange for an honest review.

What It Is About

I know you know what happened that night, but there are things I should tell you. I had a secret I never shared. And I knew someone else’s secret too— the secret that set this whole thing in motion.

Jo works at a movie theater, but the theater is closing and Jo and her coworkers have one last shift to get through. But an unexpected incident delays their leaving, and soon after that the power goes out.

Now they are all locked in the mall where the theater is located, with their phones locked in the safe and their manager gone. And then Jo discovers a dead body. And slight inconvenience turns into a blood chilling terror.

Because the murderer is still among them. And he has no intention of letting anyone walk out of the mall alive.

Four Found Dead by Natalie D. Richards – My Review

The room goes dark.
There’s no buzzing or flickering, no warning at all. There is light, and then there is darkness. And dark in Riverview Theaters isn’t just dark; it’s like being plunged into the deep end of an unlit pool on a starless night.

So. Four Found Dead by Natalie D. Richards. Hmm.

Well, this didn’t go as I expected at all. With that creepy red cover, a great premise and the fact I love YA thrillers, I was sure I would devour this book. But the whole read was a letdown.

I didn’t DNF it just because I kept hoping things will completely turn around at some point. Tough luck. What you get in the beginning is pretty much what you keep getting until the very end.

…and there’s something about his face that feels… I can’t put my finger on what I’m seeing, but my body knows. Adrenaline rushes through my veins, tensing my muscles and sharpening my senses.

Maybe I’m being too harsh on this book. The truth is – it had many elements of a good thriller. The setting, the secrets. An impossible situation the characters need to resolve because their lives literally depend on it.

What I loved about it the most was the “countdown” situation. The title says Four Found Dead, and from the moment that first body was discovered, all I could think about was – who will be the other three?

That was quite fun, trying to guess which of the characters I shouldn’t get too attached to. But it was also one of the rare things I liked in the ocean of things that just felt flat and annoying.

I wonder every day if we should have known he was capable of this. If I had paid closer attention or taken all his outbursts more seriously, could I have changed what happened? Could I have stopped the killing before it started?

For one, I assumed that Four Found Dead would at least partially be a mystery. But nope. We know the bad guy from the beginning, and the “twists” we got by the ends were so easy to guess from the start, there was nothing to even mildly surprise me.

That was a bummer, considering I prefer mysteries over thrillers. Because of it, the whole read felt less eventful and exciting than it could have been with everything that was going on.

They kind of just kept moving from point A to point B, to point C…, and sadly that’s a pretty accurate summary of the whole read. Barely any perks, and even when we got them, they weren’t nearly good enough to make up for all the instances that were just – bad.

Once upon a time, I would have preferred this— my eyes covered, and my body hidden and still […] but now I know the truth. What my imagination can conjure is even more horrifying than knowing what’s true.

For me personally, the worst part was how repetitive the narration was. It is one of my pet peeves – I hate when the authors keep saying one and the same thing as if we hadn’t heard well the first fifteen times. But in Four Found Dead, the things completely got out of control.

I am talking, of course, about Jo’s traumatic past. And I know that PTSD can mess with you in many ways, including locking your brain in the exact worst traumatic memory.

But this was a book, not a real life. And it was ridiculous how many times a variation of ‘this is not the first time I’ve seen a dead body’ was mentioned. Honestly, the flashbacks were so bad. They were just thrown in our faces. At some point, they start to make you want to roll your eyes where no eye rolling would be appropriate.

All those tiny, infinitesimal shifts and movements that make us human are absent. I’ve seen this before. I know what death looks like, the way it takes a person and turns them into a body.

Ok, enough with the rant.

I’m sure some of you would like this book way more than I did, and if you did – I’m really glad you enjoyed it. But I can only speak about my own experience, and based on it – I will not be recommending Four Found Dead to anyone anytime soon.

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