My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This may have a familiar plot but it’s packed full of tension and has enough twists and cliffhangers to make it a truly addictive read.
A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.
Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.
As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?
A truly addictive read I devoured the whole book more or less in one sitting. It is very much the classic psychological thriller but while parts seemed familiar and it was occasionally predictable the quality of writing made it a very enjoyable read.
It is a classic story, man’s soon to be wife disappears following a row and many years later it seems she, or someone connected to her disappearance, may have returned just as he’s about to marry her sister. What do they want, do they really know what happened to wife to be Layla, could they in fact be her or is someone just stirring up trouble?
This is a very twisty story that’s packed full of tension and almost every character seems to be hiding something. The author keeps you hooked throughout by dropping little hints and teasers, usually at the end of the chapter, so you have no choice but to keep reading. It’s frustrating as hell at times but effective. There are maybe a couple of pacing issues, some sections were dragged out a little too long in my opinion, but these are easily forgiven.
The story is told predominantly from main character Finn’s point of view and while I never really liked him, he has a temper, lies, threatens and is abusive, I did find him an intriguing character to read. I do often think however that it’s the horrible people who are the most enjoyable to read.
In the second part of the story he’s joined by another narrator whose voice I wasn’t so keen on. There was just something a little too much about it, but it was maybe just that I’m not a fan of the whole voices in my head thing. It tends to result in lots of eye rolling by me.
I also think the story was a little light in terms of secondary characters. I would have liked them to feature a little more and to get some more insight into their motivations. Finn’s best friend Harry for example is constantly bailing him out of trouble or riding in to the rescue despite knowing what he’s like and being treated badly. Finn is violent towards everyone but they all seem to want to help him. It just didn’t make sense to me.
Despite these niggles I did very much enjoy this story and even the ending which I guessed around halfway through was worth waiting for.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. As always all thoughts are my own.