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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 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


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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Why I love it

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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Member ratings (5,941)

  • Amanda P.

    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!

  • Chloe C.

    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.

  • Tracy V.

    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.

  • Chelsea E.

    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!

  • Angie A.

    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