I’ve read so many ‘psychological thrillers this year, but this is one of the best.
What I like about it is authenticity, I believe in Elle, the situations she finds herself and the ending, while surprisingly is entirely believable.
The story moves from Elle in the present and then to a past time when her life changes irrevocably, this is where you are sure you know who her present tormentor is but are you right? The third voice in the story is the person who once let into Elle’s life won’t let go.
The novel abounds with paranoia, as Elle appears to become increasingly irrational, even to herself. There are many blind alleys, and part reveals before the dramatic conclusion. The atmosphere is key to this book’s impact, and it builds to a crescendo of menace. The setting is vivid and a character in itself, emphasising the storyline, to significant effect.
If you think you’re tired of this genre, this story may change your mind.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction – Harper Collins UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Derek Flint is a loner. He lives with his mother and spends his evenings watching his clients on the CCTV cameras he has installed inside their homes. He likes their companionship – even if it’s through a screen.
When a series of crimes hit Derek’s neighbourhood, DC Beth Mayes begins to suspect he’s involved. How does he know so much about the victims’ lives? Why won’t he let anyone into his office? And what is his mother hiding in that strange, lonely house?
As the crimes become more violent, Beth must race against the clock to find out who is behind the attacks. Will she uncover the truth in time? And is Derek more dangerous than even she has guessed?
Reading the blurb to this techno-thriller, you would be forgiven for thinking you are about to read a 21st-Century ‘Psycho’ but don’t be fooled.
A convoluted plot takes you in one direction in an almost predictable way but then leads you down an even darker road before reaching an action-filled conclusion. Even with all the twists, it’s the characters rather than the plot’s complexity that make this a readable thriller.
Derek Flint, a loner, still living with his mother is a voyeur but does he do more than watch? Initially, it appears that Derek is not a good person, but as the story progresses, you discover he is more naive than evil, but he still has the key to the crime wave hitting his hometown. Detective Constables Beth and Matt have a good team dynamic, and they’re a credible police presence in the novel.
Well researched crime description with believable characters that develop within the plot’s sinister ethos, created by cleverly built suspense. An original 21st- century angle on the Stalker trope.
I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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.