Book Review: Eleven by Carolyn Arnold

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Book Reviews, Reviews, Thrillers

Carolyn Arnold dares to “break the rules” in Eleven. A thrilling ride!

Eleven is an FBI thriller that has great character development, a unique writing style that dares to “break the rules”, and an excellent overall story.

Character Development

I think this is where I enjoyed Eleven the most. The characters in Eleven were very well-written. They each had their own unique personalities and it is evident that Carolyn Arnold put a lot of time and care into developing them. They were created in a way that didn’t overwhelm you with a lengthy back story or flashbacks, but instead you get to know a little more about them as the story progresses. It’s kind of like in real life. The longer you spend with someone, the more you get to know them. Arnold did a very good job in executing this.

When I read a book it’s also important for me to get to know the characters enough to where I really care about the fate of each character for me to really enjoy the story. If I don’t care about the characters, you’ve lost me in the story. In Eleven I really cared about the characters. In fact I found myself feeling sorry for one of them and there was even one character that I really disliked; but after getting to know him better, I found I understood why he acted the way he did. Again, this is attributed to Carolyn Arnold’s excellent character development.

The Writing Style

Carolyn Arnold “breaks the rules” when it comes to her writing style in Eleven. It starts off with the reader following the story from the main character’s perspective. Later, however, as the story begins to unfold and we begin to reach the climax of the story, Arnold suddenly shifts perspectives to tell the story in a different way, but also continues to use the first-person perspective of the main character.

I enjoyed following the FBI team’s investigation from the main character’s perspective and seeing how he reacted to certain situations. When the writing started switching perspectives from first to third and back to first, it was initially slightly distracting. I wasn’t certain if this was going to work well at first, because I had never read a novel that switched perspectives. I am pleased to say that it did indeed work very well. This was a very unique writing style that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Overall Story

I love thrillers and therefore can be very picky with the end result of the roller-coaster ride that is expected from them. Arnold did a very good job of keeping me guessing during the investigation in Eleven. Just when you think the team is on the right track, something throws them off. I had my suspicions of who the killer was (I was wrong of course!), but I was pleasantly surprised when the killer was finally revealed.

If you like thrillers, you’ll enjoy Carolyn Arnold’s Eleven.

Excellent story! I look forward to reading the Madison Knight series.

Carolyn Arnold is the author of several novels in the mystery, thriller and suspense genres. TIES THAT BIND, the first in a police procedural mystery series surrounding Detective Madison Knight, was her debut novel and published May 2011.

Carolyn was born in 1976 in the rural town of Picton, Ontario. While her passion for writing dates back to her teen years, it wasn’t until 2008 that she completed her first novel. She lives with her husband and her two beagles in Southwestern Ontario

Where to connect with Carolyn online:

Amazon Author Page

Carolyn Arnold’s Books:

A note to my guests: You can read my interview with Carolyn Arnold by CLICKING HERE. Be sure to visit Carolyn’s web site by clicking here, and if you haven’t done so already, you can get your copy of Eleven here.

  1. MG WELLS says:

    Great review, Rob and Carolyn. Best wishes to you both ƸӜƷ


  2. Great to hear Dannie. And Rob, thank you for taking the time to post such a comprehensive review – and it’s a very nice one at that! 😀


    • You’re welcome, Carolyn. Oh, and by the way, the two-star reviews I read on Amazon seemed overly picky to me. They seemed to have a few chips on their shoulders when they wrote them. I noticed a few errors (I see them in books published by the Big 6 too), but it did not distract from the overall story…at least for me.

      I’ll be switching genres for my next reading (fantasy), but I’ll let you know as soon as I start reading the Madison Knight series.



  3. danniehill says:

    Well, Rob. You”ve made me want to read ELEVEN. In a thriller it’s almost a muct to show different POVs. I like the idea of a 1st person main character with a switch to bring in what that character can’t see.

    Great review