You never know what secrets people are hiding. And when you find out, it’s more sinister than you could ever have imagined.
Isabel: Beautiful. Talented. Bored.
Mathew: Mysterious. Handsome. Dangerous.
For Isabel Archer, dating is a way to pass the time in her otherwise safe and comfortable life. She casts herself as the Perfect Girl for every man she matches with, playing a different girl with a different back-story every night for months. It’s innocent – one goodnight kiss before swiftly deleting each profile – until she goes too far.
Mathew likes playing games too. Only the games he wants to play are the kind you don’t always walk away from.
As Isabel falls hard for Mathew, his lies bring them closer to their downfall. And she won’t see it coming.
Even though I disliked both protagonists in this chilling game playing thriller, I still kept turning the pages, carried on guessing what the endgame was and hated the controlling antagonist. The writing is good, and the characters are complex, the plot keeps it surprises even if they are not as earth-shattering as the blurb suggests.
Rather than a player, Isabel comes across as a victim. Abused at school and bullied, she doesn’t tell and wants to be popular, so glosses over the abuse she suffers; if she doesn’t think about it, it isn’t real. Her New York life is a flop, in a dead-end job with the abuse she has already suffered she is perfect grooming material for Mathew and his boss.
Isabel and Matthew tell the story from alternative points of view, but who is honest and who is lying? Based on control rather than love, the relationships are shallow and sinister. The ending is strange, in-keeping with the book’s ethos. Questions remain, perhaps for a sequel?
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.