‘The most shocking ending you’ll read all year,’ promised the cover. I was sceptical but it turns out that the ending is very surprising indeed, even for a seasoned reader of psychological thrillers. The ending is the best part of a book which I otherwise had mixed feelings about.
The story focuses on Louise, a divorced mum and psychiatrist’s secretary who gets involved with a couple, David and Adele. There are secrets at the heart of this marriage. Louise can’t resist having an affair with David (who turns out to be her new boss) but separately she is drawn into a friendship with fragile Adele, who appears to be a victim of domestic abuse. However, the narrative from Adele’s perspective suggests that she is grooming Louise for some kind of terrible event. This book is mainly a psychological thriller but it does have a supernatural element to it, which seems believable because everything else is realistically portrayed. I thought that the author did a great job in keeping my curiosity high as to what was really going on and how the story was going to be resolved.
There was some things I didn’t like about this book. The story seemed too drawn out, meaning that around the two thirds point I was getting a little bored, although still keen to race to the end. There was animal cruelty (as you know, I very much dislike this in my reading and it does crop up in thrillers quite often). Some of the sentences were clunky. Although people’s dwellings were well-described, I didn’t feel there was a sense of place generally – I think it was set in London but I’m still not sure. What annoyed me were the constant mentions of wine. If you’re a wine fanatic, maybe there’s no such thing as talking about wine too much. Almost every chapter had people drinking wine. I understand that the characters like wine. It just seemed unnecessary to emphasise this.
I would recommend the book if you don’t mind the points I mentioned above and you want an unguessable ending. I liked her subsequent novel better.
First published in 2017.