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Our Kind of Cruelty

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  14,316 ratings  ·  2,546 reviews
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
Hardcover, US Edition, 275 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published May 3rd 2018)
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Stephanie I can't stop thinking about, and what ruined the book for me, is the authors acknowledgement page.

She says, "The first draft of this book was written…more
I can't stop thinking about, and what ruined the book for me, is the authors acknowledgement page.

She says, "The first draft of this book was written in a mad spurt of anger at the continued injustices perpetuated against woman in our so-called civil society."

Once I read that, I sat that for a second and could only come to the conclusion that the whole book was written as some feminist piece about how Mike stalked Vanessa, wouldn't leave her alone when she moved on, sexually assaulted her, and then her sexual past was used against her on the stand.

If that was the kind of book she wanted to write she should not have picked this story line; it makes her look like a real asshole. If my above assumption is true, Mike has a mental disorder, so he is not a great sample of "the patriarchy" and Vanessa was supposed to be the strong female character? Even if she was supposed to be the-everyday-female wronged by the defective men that are a result of our poisoned patriarchal society the actual narrative, that actual narrative muddies that up in almost every single way. Ultimately, the authors goal and the product delivered do not correlate and none of it makes sense for someone wanting to go on a rant about the "continued injustices against woman in our so-called society"

Major fail.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Laura If I'm not mistaken, somewhere in Mike's house (that he was fixing up for V's return), Mike found that someone (previous owner, perhaps) had written s…moreIf I'm not mistaken, somewhere in Mike's house (that he was fixing up for V's return), Mike found that someone (previous owner, perhaps) had written some phone numbers on the inside of a cupboard and Mike wondered why they were there. I believe he planned on painting over them and then started to consider the possible stories behind the numbers...I think he found the mystery of the numbers interesting. The numbers weren't mentioned again until the line that you referenced. I too am wondering if there was somehow more to this, hopefully another reader will have more insight.(less)

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Chelsea Humphrey
This was a fun read, and I can easily see it being one of the most buzz worthy novels of 2018. I'm clearly in the minority with my middle of the road rating, but please don't let that cause you to pass this one by. If anything, I think this novel helped me realize that I'm not as compatible with stories told from the male stalker POV as the majority of thriller readers are. If you enjoyed novels such as You by Caroline Kepnes and Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda, I think you'll really take to this o ...more
Emily May
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Emily May by: Gillian Flynn
Everything is a game, V used to tell me; only stupid people forget that.

I'm not sure how I feel about this book, to be honest. It was a little jarring to discover that it was nothing like I expected it to be. The title and blurb made me think this was going to be a really dark, possibly disturbing, psychological thriller in the vein of Kepnes' You, but it just never felt like that kind of story at all.

Our Kind of Cruelty is nowhere near as dark as I expected. In fact, it's fairly tame for th
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
“Everything is a game, V used to tell me; only stupid people forget that.”

Well, my friends, I couldn’t wait for this game to end!

Mike and V. (Verity) didn’t have a conventional relationship. They were obsessed with one another and showed their love by playing a game called Crave which basically goes like this: Mike and V. go to a bar. V. gets hit on, Mike watches from a distance and eventually runs interference, then they have passionate sex.

When they break up, Mike’s obsession with V. gro
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

Love, Obsession, jealousy, rage, sex, lies - the perfect storm for a disturbing "love" story gone bad...

Mike Hays had a rough start in life and wound up in foster care. Even he will admit that his permanent foster parents were loving and caring, but maybe not quite so loving and caring as, Verity Metcalf. Verity and Mike entered a romantic relationship where they enjoyed playing games of a sexual nature called "the Crave". Everything seemed fine. Mike loved Verity more than anything. H
⚠️Warning: You will be sleeping with the lights on after reading this book!
Welcome to the dark, obsessive mind of Michael Hayes.

Mike and Verity (known as V) had an intense relationship, to put it mildly! Their favorite past-time? Frequenting the local bar scene to “Crave”.
What is crave, you ask? Well, in order to avoid spoiling the party, I’ll just say it’s an adult game played that somehow proves their love and desire for one another.

When their relationship eventually fractures, one partner
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Araminta Hall's character driven psychological thriller is not a love story. It is a chilling, claustrophobic, dark and disturbing crawl below the surface into the no ordinary, distinctly uncomfortable, intense and twisted relationship between Mike Hayes and Verity 'V' Metcalf. Narrated primarily from the perspective of Mike, a man with a troubling and brutal childhood, the reader is taken into and privy to his interior life. These insights provide the groundwork to what happens later, culminati ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a brilliantly done character study on par with Joe Goldberg from You, and Paul Strom from Best Day Ever. If you’re expecting a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller you’ll be disappointed, but if you’re looking for a highly developed, character driven story of a disturbed individual, pick this one up.

The author has taken “a mad spurt of anger at the continued injustices perpetrated against women in our so-called civilized society” (quote from the Acknowledgements) and developed it into a sto
my review is up over at LA review of books!

finished! review will run on the LARB site closer to pub date, but i think this book is going to do all right - if you have a badass book club, you might want to put it on the list.


i will be reviewing this for l.a. review of books and i am very excited to dive into it!!

come to my blog!
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Wow! This is a very dark, twisted novel about obsession. Mike loves V and is crafting the perfect life for them. The fact that she’s getting married to someone else isn’t enough to alter his plans.

Like Dr. Frankenstein, V has created Mike, but just like the monster, he’s gone off the rails. The story works so well for being told solely from Mike’s perspective. No matter what V does or says, he twists it to fit his version of reality. It’s delightfully scary.

I had trouble believing several of V
Theresa Alan
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a well-written novel about an obsessed man who is incapable of correctly interpreting social cues and a woman whose niceness and sexuality are used against her.

Mike had a rough youth with an alcoholic mother who couldn’t take care of herself, let alone a child or a house. He often went without food and his mother’s boyfriends’ fists led to bruises he did his best to hide. At ten years old, he’s taken away by Social Services. After two years bouncing around in the system, he was taking i
"I crave you"

"We know what love is: the kindest and the cruelest emotion." Ain't that the truth my friends....

Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall is one heck of a ride. I felt like I was watching my favorite channel ID.... I'd Kill for you. This is a whole mess of lies, sex, obsession, stalking, jealously, greed, and rage. It can't get more juicy then that!

I can definitely see this being a top thriller for 2018. I think this would be a fabulous group read or with a book club.

Mike is mady in l
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
Oh I guess this is what everybody means when they talk about their love for Joe from You then??? Yeah I think I get it now!

Not the love for Joe no, but I did totally got charmed by Mike! He’s so pure and just utterly earnest how can I not??

Yeah yeah yeah I know, he’s a psychopath and all that, and who are you anyway, my mother?! I will jolly well like whoever I like ok? *huff*

Audiobook narrated by Nick Hendrix
Susanne  Strong
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars.

Creepy and Freaky and Crazy Intense.

“I Crave You.” It’s a game that Mike and Verity used to play while they were dating. They’d go to a bar, pretend that they weren’t together, and Mike would watch while another man hit on Verity and then he would pounce. Both would get off on it. Mike never dreamed that anything would come between them.

Until the day that V broke up with him and became engaged to someone else. Mike, knows it’s not real, however. It’s just the game she’s playing. A Crav
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
So once again I spent a few days living inside the mind of the deranged. I’m beginning to wonder what that says about me. Clearly, I’m not a clinical psychologist but my armchair diagnosis of the main character is narcissism combined with obsessive-compulsive disorder. My understanding of narcissism is that it is not being in love with oneself but rather the need to have love and admiration reflected back by another.

V and Mikey meet at college and become entangled in an eight-year affair that i
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
3.5 stars

annnndd I love reading about the crazies.

Mike knows that Verity still loves and wants him. So what if she is marrying some other guy? He knows the signs she sends to him and what she really means when she rejects him. He must do something grand to get her back. After all this all has to be another game of "Crave" that they play.

Verity after all does invite him to her wedding.

My book buddy is probably going to say I readed this one sorta wrong BUT I did like it. The front part o
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

RELEASE DATE 5/8/18! If you enjoy reading about truly awful humans, you don't want to miss out on meeting Mike.

4.5 Stars

“I must be cruel only to be kind / Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.”

When I saw my friend Michelle’s review comparing this to one of my favorites, I went and requested it immediately. I spent the next 24 hours waiting with bated breath to see if I would be approved an early copy while simultaneously tr
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
"She doesn't know how easy it is to leave scars, how sometimes just a tiny brown oval will remain, but whenever you look at it you know why it's there."

And this one may scar you as well. It's not a dance for everyone. Heavy on the sex, control, obsession, cruelty, and no rock 'n roll.

Mike Hayes left an unspeakable, demented childhood in his rearview mirror. But like all things reflective, it doesn't quite go far enough away. Araminta Hall does a fine job in allowing her readers to walk through t
Carol (Bookaria)
This is an excellent psychological thriller. It has been a while since a read a book that left me reeling.

Mike and Verity met in college and were together for eight years. A few months after the relationship ended Mike received an invitation to Verity's wedding. He had been living and working in New York and had recently moved back to London where V, short for Verity, also lives.

Mike is settling back in London and getting the house ready for V's return because he knows they're meant for each o
Elyse  Walters
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Audiobook... read by Nick Hendrix...and Eleanor Matsuura

“I crave you”......( ha)....
Definition of *crave*:
.....desire, want, wish for, hunger for, thirst for, lust after, beg for ....
BUT NOT.... “Love”....

I enjoyed this twisty Audiobook. The Audio-narrators - especially the male voice was awesome...
This UN—LOVE story was a tripy-twisty-guilty-pleasure-ride.
Nothing too graphic - no slaughtered animals or children...
Pure adult fun & games!

3.5-3.7 rating - enjoyed it!
Katie B
This is a tough book to rate and review. I really did not care for the first two parts of the book. I thought at first maybe it was the subject matter that was too disturbing which made for uncomfortable reading, but after thinking about this for the past couple of days I honestly think I had a problem with the slow pace. I just did not feel fully engaged in the story until the third and final part of the book. That's when the book started to pick up for me and I really couldn't wait to find out ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I like to read about total nut-jobs. It makes me feel slightly more sane. Mike's the kinda guy who looks through newspapers to find hidden messages.

Jeez, dude, I just asked where you want to go eat.

So, when he gets an invitation to his ex-girlfriend's wedding, he knows she is crying out for his help to stop it. It's part of a game they used to play, and she has simply taken it to the next level.

Sometimes you really don't need to kick it up a notch. Just leave it be, man. Leave it be.

Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"...sometimes two people need each other so much it is worth sacrificing others to make sure they end up together."

Holyyyyyyy crapolaaaaaa I fucking loved this book!

This story is a masterful, slow-burning decent into the mind of a delusional and obsessed man...and it's flipping fantastical!!!!

Brilliant writing with flawless development of an utterly unreliable narrator. I've never felt so disquieted while reading a book.

Araminta Hall just became an instant one-click for me.
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Creepy Star for Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall. The novel tells the story of Mike and Verity, also known as just “V.” The couple have been dating since they met at university and play a sex game that seems harmless enough, though cruel, and they do discuss more harmful ways of playing. Verity comes from a good family, she is a beautiful and intelligent woman who works in Artificial Intelligence. Mike had a horrid childhood and was adopted by a lovely couple who are supportive and love ...more
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, netgalley
I don't know if this will be for everyone, (main narrative is not very likeable) but I loved the crazy delusion!

Mike loves Verity. Verity used to love Mike, but she broke up with him after an indiscretion that Mike admits to. Mike apologizes and knows that all will be forgiven, as love like theirs is one in a million.
When Verity announces she is to be married, Mike understands. Verity is just making him pay for his slip up. It's all part of the game they've played throughout their relationship,
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
**3.5-stars rounded up**

Our Kind of Cruelty was a fun read for me, but I recognize it won't be for everyone.

The unique format, which I can see being off-putting to some, definitely added to the experience for me. I found it to be distinctive and disturbing. To adjectives I never mind finding in my Thrillers.

Mike Hayes, the narrator, is unhinged and you get a front row seat to his obsession.

Verity, Mike's literal obsession, is a young lady I struggled throughout the book to understand.

Mike and
Our Kind of Cruelty just didn't work out for me. Maybe I've been reading too many of the same regurgitated stories lately, but I am sorry to say that this will be an unpopular review.

Our Kind of Cruelty takes place in London and parts of New York, where Mike Hayes tells us about his love for Verity Metcalf. Verity and Mike were young loves—immature and impulsive, the dynamic duo played this controversial made-up game called Crave. Without giving too much away, this game was a manipulativ
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
His name is Mike.  Her name is Verity.  What is the real truth here?  For one thing, he will never stop loving her.  Nevermind that she is engaged to be married.  Forget the fact that she has made it plain over and over again that things between her and Mike are over.  With each rejection, Mike becomes more obsessed with her, more deluded; he rationalizes every word, every look to mean what he WANTS it to mean.  He craves Verity.  And he knows that she craves him, as she always has. 

(view spoile
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall is a novel of psychological suspense that is much in the same category of YOU by Caroline Kepnes. This is the type of book that let’s readers see up close just why restraining orders were invented and give all the single ladies a reason to think twice about their dates.

The story takes readers into the mind of Mike Hayes. Mike has come from a horrible background a childhood that when hearing about would bring tears to any compassionate person’s eyes. He’s now
Liz Barnsley
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely compelling from first word to last. Read in one sitting I feel like I didn't even blink although obviously I must have done. Clever. So so so clever. I can't even begin to unravel the layers of clever in Our Kind Of Cruelty. Putting the actual psychology FIRMLY back into the psychological thriller Araminta Hall has written a barnstormer of a novel that fully captured my imagination.

This is a love story. No it really is. But what kind of a love story is it? That may be the unanswerable
Idk how I feel about this book but I definitely enjoyed it more than I expected to. Here’s the vlog where I read this one: ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Another german translation which got added as new book 4 14 Jun 17, 2019 11:30AM  
Book of The Month: Our Kind of Cruelty 1 46 Apr 10, 2018 01:32PM  

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Araminta Hall began her career in journalism as a staff writer on teen magazine Bliss, becoming Health and Beauty editor of New Woman. On her way, she wrote regular features for the Mirror's Saturday supplement and ghost-wrote the super-model Caprice's column. ...more

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