Genre: Psychological Thriller
Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even …
Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.
Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …
First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…
But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?
A compelling, gripping psychological thriller, perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Sister.
I have to start by saying that I’m completely blown away by the fact that this is Slater’s debut novel. This was polished, gripping and entirely riveting. If this is what she comes up with for a debut, I can’t wait to see what she does next! This is one of those books that will be a bit hard to review because I don’t want to give up anything unintentionally, but I’ll do my best to give you a feel for the book without revealing anything pertinent.
This is told from two timelines, present day and thirteen years ago. There was clearly a big tragedy in the past, but details are released slowly and methodically throughout the book until it all comes to a head with a shocking climax. When Anna witnesses a car accident and recognizes Carla, a woman who is related in some way to the tragedy, she feels like she finally has the chance to right the wrongs from the past. She swiftly and immediately inserts herself into the lives of Liam, the man injured in the accident and Ivy his grandmother.
Anna narrates and she is quite the character. I’ve never seen someone quite as detached and delusional as she is. What made her simultaneously fascinating and disturbing is the fact that she has no idea the way she behaves isn’t normal. She manages to convince herself that the insane decisions she makes are justified and that she knows what’s best for anyone and everyone. I felt like I was watching someone’s cheese slid right off of their cracker and I couldn’t look away.
This book had so many dark undercurrents running between the pages and I was unsettled and creeped out the entire time I was reading it. Anna’s cold indifference and stark paranoia really chilled me, in fact I found myself looking over my shoulder even though I read this book in the comfort of my own home. I was quite wrapped up in Anna’s sad and strange little world and was keen to find out what the tragedy was exactly so maybe I could discover why she turned out the way that she did.
The ending was the only thing that kept me from rating this higher, I just wanted a bit more and maybe some greater explanations about some of the events. I like things all neat and tidy at the end of a book, but that’s just a personal preference of mine. It was still a very good read, full of deadly obsessions, manipulations, and plenty of twists that kept me guessing.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy.