Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review: An Individual Will @WriteLevelZero

An Individual Will
Title: An Individual Will
Author: J.G. Ellis
Release Date:
October 4th 2014
Format: E-book
Smashwords Edition 
Source: complimentary copy in exchange of an honest review.


DCI Barbara Black investigates the curious death of Adrian Mansfield, an artistic young man cast adrift in a boat on Amberton lake. He has been tied into a sitting position with an insulting sign hung about his neck. Murder is assumed, but Barbara's investigations take us into escalating family tragedy and Adrian's dark, antinatalist philosophy. No-one seems surprised that Adrian has died. He was, we learn, obsessed with his dead sister, a talented young writer, who took her own life a few years earlier. So, indeed, is Martha Bottomley, a retired social worker and friend of the family, who has, according to Barbara's sergeant, a morbid interest in the deaths of young people. Philosophical and thought-provoking detective fiction - a why rather than whodunnit.


An Individual Will is a book that focused in a difficult topic: suicide. It’s a mystery with characteristics of an essay. As simple as it may sound, life is not an easy subject especially when you really start to think about it.

Barbara Black is in charge of investigating Adrian Mansfield "murder". Her investigation will lead her to a group of young people who thinks suicide is the only escape from a life they didn't choose to live.

The story starts with a simple case but then things get turbid and complicated. We discovered that Adrian's sister committed suicide a few years ago and this event devastated him and their family. Adrian had a strong obsession with death and not only he talked about it with others, he also wrote a lot online. That's where we found that he is not the only one with that kind of "obsession". Here is where you need to be as objective as possible, you need to read this book without judging, or like some characters on the book you will find the actions and decisions as selfish and unreasonable.

I liked the book because if you leave your prejudices aside, you will read about different views on life and its meaning. This group of young people is not depressed or sad, they have a profound solid logic about why life is not what they want for them, and it’s something they didn't choose. For moments it’s hard but they are right about much of what they’re saying.

The book is intense, and if you are looking a sweet, light and simple story this is not for you. The chapters are full of critiques about how our life is planned before we even are born. Also, complains about how we have to be part of a system that not always thinks about us.

The writing style is really good and like at said it seems more of an essay that fiction for moments (you get to judge if that’s good or bad).

Overall, I liked it because it’s different. It’s a profound reading and the topics leave you thinking and wondering about your own life.

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