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All booksLegal thrillerOur Kind of Cruelty
Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall
Legal thriller

Our Kind of Cruelty

Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Araminta Hall

Quick take

The creepy, chilling Gillian Flynn-approved tale of a twisted sex game and what happens when obsession goes too far.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_HeavyRead

    Heavy read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unreliable

    Unreliable narrator

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LegalThriller

    Legal thriller

Illustrated icon, Icon_Challenging_Indicator


  • Narrator is extremely unlikable
  • Plot is mainly character-driven
  • Strong themes of sexual manipulation and depravity

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Why I love it

Siobhan Jones
BOTM Editorial Team

You may have noticed this about BOTM, but thrillers are kind of our thing. We’re suckers for amateur sleuths, diabolical killers, women in windows, on boats, on trains. And what really makes us shiver with delight is when a villain is hiding in plain sight. Like when a narrator—a charming, successful, harmless businessman—seems reliable until suddenly, he’s not.

Mike and Verity like to play this little game. Essentially, she flirts with unsuspecting men in bars while Mike plays the jealous boyfriend. It’s twisted, but for Mike, whose feelings for Verity are all-consuming, it’s a rush. Then he moves away to pursue his career, and when he returns, Verity is engaged to someone else. It’s a bold move in their game … which they’re definitely still playing … right?

The fun of Our Kind of Cruelty is that it’s a true white-knuckler; my grip on the book literally tightened as I turned the pages—partly in horror, partly in fascination—and watched Mike’s obsessive love become perverse, pathological, and violent. When I finished the book, the armchair psychologist in me was left reevaluating every chapter, and the editor in me was left feeling ecstatic. Friends, here’s your new favorite thriller.

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This is a love story. Mike’s love story.

Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely, life before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job; he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.

It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his e-mails or phone calls. It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.

It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move, he’ll know just when to come to her rescue . . .

A spellbinding, darkly twisted novel about desire and obsession, and the complicated lines between truth and perception, Our Kind of Cruelty introduces Araminta Hall, a chilling new voice in psychological suspense.

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Member thoughts

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All (5367)
Love (1448)
Like (2880)
Dislike (1039)
5531 ratings
  • 26% Love
  • 52% Like
  • 19% Dislike
  • Minot, ND

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with characters like this. I couldn’t put it down from start to finish. So creepily relatable yet you hope nothing like this ever happens to anyone you know. Great!

  • Toledo, OH

    This is a great read. It’s really kind of upsetting and complicated but, in a way that makes you want to keep reading. Plus you get some decent closure at the end of the book and you can’t beat that.

  • New York , NY

    I gave an “eye-roll” emoji, not because it’s bad, but because of the message about society and the current patriarchal culture. Gives an inside look of people who actually think these acts are OK.

  • Whitney, TX

    This one was a surprise to me from the get go. I got so caught up in the story that I couldn’t put it down and read it in two days! I wish I could find out what happened to the two main characters 0.0

  • Charlotte, NC

    At first I was confused on what point of view it was being told in but then as it got to the second part then it makes sense. Great and intense makes me what to say "he can't be that ignorant" but he is

  • Tipton, IN

    I enjoyed this book a lot it was very enjoyable and kept me on my toes. I felt like I got trapped in the thinking of the main character and I’m still not sure if I was right or wrong. Excellent story!

  • Patchogue, NY

    A really interesting read. I loved that it was from the main character’s perspective and you were in his head... you really weren’t sure whether he was making it up or not right up to the last word.

  • Polk city, IA

    This book captured me from the start. I really enjoyed that it was almost like reading someone’s diary which was great because it was hard to predict the end because you were only see it from one side

  • Fort Worth, TX

    This book was scary to me. Knowing people thinking this way and knowing they really exist is terrifying. Araminta Hall crafted such realistic characters that left you wanting to know what’s next for V

  • Allentown, PA

    This book was really obsessed intensed. I couldn’t put the book down. I found myself reflecting about what love truly is, how we misinterpret words and how communication is a factor in relationships.

  • North Palm Beach, FL

    For two solid days, no work was accomplished, no chores were done, I almost forgot that my family needed to eat, and I DID forget to feed myself ... and sleep. This book was THAT good! Just riveting!!!

  • Hurlock, MD

    This book hooked me from the beginning. I love the different character perspectives and how half way through the book the reader begins to feel confused about the relationship as well. Loved every min

  • Parsons, WV

    I am a crime, drama, and mystery lover. Seeing through the eyes of a stalker an not getting a happy ending left me with my mouth hanging open! SEQUEL PLEASE! I must know what happens next for Mike $ V

  • Big lake , MN

    Loved this book. I thought that the narrative was fantastic and it left you wondering if he was just a psycho or if Verity actually had a part in "the game" or not! Surreal to think that this happens.

  • Scottsdale, AZ

    I’m not gonna lie.. this book is messed up. But so amazing. When I finished it I was actually deeply concerned about Verity’s well being then I remembered she’s fictional lol. Mind blowing book!

  • Dayton, OH

    This book reminded me of "Lolita" in the sense that we are in the mind of the possessed, the mentally ill, and we can see their validation and understand their motives... which makes us the bad guy...

  • Lonedell, MO

    Ok, I was on the fence. Is Mike crazy? Is V leading him on? But omg. That ending was out of this world. I honestly had chills. And the worst part, it all seems so real. The feminist tone at the end...


    I LOVED this book! I started it &could not put it down. I became so wrapped up in the characters that I mourned them when I finished. The ending still pops into my head&I think "Damn. What an ending"

  • Halethorpe, MD

    This book was V & I was Mike, I couldN't let it out of my sight once I started. I read it a week ago and I have thought about it every day since. It's thought provoking and anger inducing - great read

  • Beaverton, OR

    This is a spine chilling look into the mind of a deranged stalker that leaves the reader thinking about the role of unhealthy relationships in our culture and legal system. Heart wrenching but perfect

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