Review: The Safe Place by Anna Downes


Release date: July 14, 2020

Publisher: Minotaur

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Emily is a mess.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

Emily is desperate.

Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.

Emily is perfect.

Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn’t play along, the consequences could be deadly.

Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs’s debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.

Welcome to paradise…will you ever be able to leave? 


Beyond that stunning cover that is just ideal for summer I don’t have a ton to say about this one so I’ll keep this fairly brief. Emily loses her job, her agent and her apartment in the same day, she’s not having just a bad day, she’s having the absolute worse day. When Scott swoops in and offers her a job as a housekeeper/sometimes nanny for his family in a gorgeous house in France she thinks all her problems may be solved and worst case scenario she gets to spend the summer somewhere beautiful. Of course nothing is as it seems and secrets abound.

So what went wrong for me? It was predictable and was missing that extra something special that a solid thriller has. Did it hold my attention though? Sure, it was entertaining enough but it went a little off the rails in the end and there was quite a bit of unnecessary fluff for me. Overall I was just very underwhelmed by it and can’t say I can truly recommend it to anyone who’s an avid thriller reader.

Overall rating: 2.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

6 thoughts on “Review: The Safe Place by Anna Downes

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