The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter

Published: May 25, 2021


I received a copy of the book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Mary Dixie Carter graduated from Harvard College with an honors degree in English Literature and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children.

“And if all else failed, of course, I could photoshop.”

Delta is a talented photographer who understands how to capture or create the perfect moment. She is good at what she does, and in her career, she has learned to read people reasonably accurately. When Delta is hired to photograph the Straub’s daughter’s birthday party, what Delta sees through the viewfinder is so much more than she ever expected. As the lies start to pile up, the tales become even more twisted. With every shutter click, Delta finds herself slowly becoming trapped.

Wowza. This was such an interestingly devious book. The way it is written is so clever, and the use of imagery and light was brilliant—such a unique spin on a narrator. The voyeuristic spin on this plot was well done. The character development was top-notch, and the twists were beautifully executed.

As a debut novel, Mary Dixie Carter is off to a fantastic start. This was so well thought out, with excellent pacing and beautifully curated characters. This entire storyline is so unique and realistic but also understated and terrifying. The level of research and the attention to detail throughout this book is remarkable

Delta is such a dynamic character. The way she is written is a full circle; the emotion and the depth of her character are so eerie. Amelia is also an intense character. The raw emotions her character conveys are powerful.

There is a lot of very raw, vulnerable humanity inside this novel. But there is also a lot of deceit, obsession, and betrayal. What turns out to be the ultimate game of mommy dearest, what starts as innocent and sweet very quickly takes a turn for the devastating.

This is such a refreshingly twisted book. I have never read anything like this before, and I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative. I was not sure how things would end, but I definitely would not have guessed correctly.

With a lot of heavy emotion and brutal internal dialogue, dreams will be reached and shattered all as the light begins to fade on the count of three, smile.

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