Release date: April 17, 2018
When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.
Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?
The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.
I’m a huge fan of Pretty Little Liars, both the books and the show (the books were better, duh) but I haven’t read anything else from Shepherd since the final installment of that series and that was quite a few years ago, so naturally I was very excited to read one of her adult novels to see if she could still reel me in with something with a bit more maturity. While overall this was an entertaining, easy read it didn’t have that bite, that sharpness that I need in a “grown up” thriller.
There WAS plenty that worked for me here, I absolutely love books about books and this one alternated Between Eliza’s POV in the present and chapters from her debut novel, The Dots. To begin I was equally invested in both narratives but as the lines between fact and fiction started to get fuzzy, I found myself more interested in Eliza’s book rather than her story. I don’t necessarily think that’s a problem per se, but I didn’t expect to feel like that nonetheless.
I really think that my main issue is that I’m far too seasoned in terms of reading true, gritty thrillers to be surprised by this one. This would be perfect for a YA audience or anyone who is wanting to branch out into thrillers who isn’t as jaded and picky as me. It would also be ideal for anyone who is looking for a lighter suspense read with no gore or graphic details, this focuses more on paranoia and the unknown than violence. Shepherd is a solid writer and does write page turners though, I’m sure the right audience will love this but unfortunately that’s just not me.
Overall rating: 3/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.