By Becca Futrell
Doll Crimes is a book that I will never ever read again.
Hear me out. This was my introduction to Karen Runge and wow, her writing absolutely blew me away. Every single word that landed on paper was perfectly crafted and led the story into a direction I never expected. To add onto the praise, Karen Runge’s way with words makes it extremely easy to envision what’s going on. So, why will I never read this book again?
Because it hurt too damn much the first time and I don’t think I can take that much emotion a second time. Honestly, there’s zero enjoyment reading this book, but quite frankly, that’s the point.
Warning: This book is filled with triggers. From drug usage to sexual abuse towards a child. Doll Crimes is an extremely dark read.
Doll Crimes is told in a first-person narrative. I don’t believe you ever even learn the character’s name, which in terms of this story, makes sense. Our main character barely even knows her age; she goes anywhere between a young child to a teenager.
This unnamed main character is living day-to-day, motel-to-motel, with her mother. With absolutely no permanence or consistency, things tend to go rough for the two. Unnamed character provides the reader with a lot of anecdotes; all of which show their journey in life thus far.
It’s hard to discuss Doll Crimes’ synopsis without providing spoilers. Even after reading the synopsis provided to me, I still felt like I went into this book completely blind and that’s the perfect way to go into this one. I had zero idea how sinister Doll Crimes’ path would go, and at times even questioned if this book was going anywhere at all.
It’s not until over half-way through that you realize what’s going on. And honestly, this build-up and character development adds so much more to the story. If Karen Runge would have gotten straight to the point than I don’t think Doll Crimes would have hit the emotions half as hard as it did. I would also like to point out that this is coming from a reader who doesn’t typically like a slow-burn.
No matter how difficult Doll Crimes was to stomach, it was still worth the read. It’s not everyday that a book gut punches you with emotion. Karen’s writing is beyond impressive, and I’m so excited to check out her other work.
I received this book from the publisher for review consideration.