Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore & False Lights. (www.gillianhamer.com)
What we thought: I’d read a lot of excitement about this novel online before I opened the first page and as I read the book in just a couple of sittings in over the course of one weekend, it certainly lived up to the hype.
This is a story that grips you from the very first page and doesn’t let you go until its sudden and unexpected end. A cleverly constructed plot with strong characters that rollercoasters along at top pace. The writing style was quite linear, with everything seen from Grace’s perspective, and I would have liked a little more outside influence. Maybe from Esther or Diane, some of her friends, so that we were convinced by Jack from their perspective. Although this was a gripping read, for me it wasn’t quite as chilling as Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, maybe because I wanted a more layered narrative. And I also wanted Grace to show her inner strength and intelligence more in the early chapters, to convince me how she fell for Jack’s lies and manipulation.
Jack and Grace appear, from the outside, to be the epitome of a perfect couple. Perfect lives, perfect jobs, perfect marriage. And yet the truth is so much darker. Jack Angel is a celebrity lawyer whose 100% success rate marks how manipulative and charming a character he can be. However, once Grace is caught up in his web, her chances of escape look grim. She seems to have only one option, but does she have the strength, mental and physical, to carry it through.
It was that uncertainty that kept me hooked. The author is very clever in leading you along one path, only with a quick jump back in time, showing you how wrong your initial thoughts turned out to be. There were twists and turns that kept you on the edge of your seat, and you were left chilled at the evil of humans, and yet praying for a happy outcome. Was it a happy ending? Well, you will just have to read for yourself to find out!
Have to agree that this is an impressive debut novel and I look forward to more from this talented author.
You’ll enjoy this if you like: Mark Edwards, S.J Watson, Gillian Flynn.
Avoid if you don’t like: Twisted humans and perfect marriages.
Ideal accompaniments: Whiskey on the rocks.
Genre: Psychological thriller.
Available on Amazon