My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was my first book by Sarah Pinborough but I don’t think it’ll be my last.
I can be a bit hit or miss with psychological thrillers but this one had me hooked from the very first page until the very end.
It’s not a fast paced read (and there’s not a huge amount of action) but it’s an intriguing and twisty story with a main character I actually kind of liked, something which is too rare at the moment in this type of book.
Blurb (from GoodReads)
Don’t trust this book. Don’t trust this story. Don’t trust yourself.
‘Sarah Pinborough is about to become your new obsession’ Harlan Coben
David and Adele seem like the ideal pair. He’s a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him. But why is he so controlling? And why is she keeping things hidden?
As Louise, David’s new secretary, is drawn into their world, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong – and how far someone might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.
‘The most unsettling thriller of the year… Read it now before someone spoils the end for you’ John Connolly
Unfortunately this is one of those books that’s really difficult to say much about without giving away spoilers so I’m going to try to tread carefully. At it’s core it’s the story of the toxic and disturbing relationship that David and Adele seem to be trapped in and that they draw poor single mum Louise into. It’s clear from the very beginning that there’s something very wrong between them but it’s only over the course of the book, and mostly through Louise, that we figure out why.
The story is told in alternating chapters from the point of view of Louise and Adele, both of which I found to have very distinctive and engaging voices. Louise was, for me, the more likeable of the two, a single working mum, a bit lonely, kind and exhausted as a result of trying to juggle everything and deal with night terrors but there was something fascinating about Adele too. One moment she would seem fragile and the next make a comment that would give you chills and suggested something dark in her past. I didn’t like her but there was definitely something captivating about her that made you want to know more.
It was almost impossible to figure out which way was up in the relationships in this story, there are so many secrets and lies you just can’t tell what the truth is. It definitely keeps you guessing and there is enough tension and twists and turns that you will have to read to the end.
There was one element of the plot that I wasn’t so sure about. Unfortunately it’s a major spoiler so I can’t say anything but I just didn’t find it believable and it took the edge off what was otherwise a a well written and atmospheric thriller.
On the #WTFthatending I can say that while I got close to guessing it, it still caught me by surprise.
Overall, it’s definitely a book I’d recommend.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an ARC. As always all view are my own.