This is a suspenseful page-turner with some good twists and a great sense of place. It’s not very realistic, as thrillers go, but it certainly has a creepy atmosphere.
The protagonist is Elle Fielding, a successful debut novelist who has retreated to the Cornish coast to write her next book. Her social media followers are shown glimpses of her perfect life, but actually her life is a mess. She also has secrets that she hopes no one would ever find out. After renting out her house for a couple of weeks, she returns to find hints that someone knows about what she did. Then she thinks someone is sneaking into the house but everyone else thinks she’s paranoid.
There are some heavy emotional themes in this book, possibly a little over the top for the genre. It could have been 100 pages shorter. I also found the writing style annoying at times, because it had an over-reliance on knotting stomachs, arching eyebrows, beading sweat, pulsing blood, etc. Elle describes herself as having frozen and moving her head, in the same sentence! And almost every page, she’s describing what her breath is doing. I found all the characters unlikeable, although I think you’re supposed to like at least one or two of them. What I enjoyed about the book was the setting and the several twists.
If you’re looking for a psychological thriller set on the coast, this is one to consider.
First published in 2019.