My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lindsey Nash has not had the easiest of lives.
She escaped in the dark one night with her six-year-old daughter, Sophie, and just a few of their possessions. They were running from Andrew, Lindsey's drunken, abusive, and possessive husband. Lindsey knew that it was only a matter of time before Andrew killed her, leaving Sophie without her mom. But the night the two disappear, something else happens: a drunken Andrew gets behind the wheel, crashes his vehicle, and kills another woman. The accident puts him in prison for 10 years, giving Lindsey a small sense of freedom, but it's short-lived. Before she knows it, he's out, and headed for the town where Lindsey and Sophie have started over. Strange things start happen, and Lindsey is terrified for her life again--and Sophie's. Andrew claims prison has changed him, but Lindsey can't believe it. How will she and her daughter ever be safe?
This is my fourth Stevens book, and I know by now that she will keep you up late, frantically turning the pages, wondering what will happen. Of the ones I've read, I still think That Night is my favorite, but this one was quite an enjoyable and fast-paced read as well. I blew through it on vacation in about 24 hours, and it had a chilling creepiness to it that made me feel like I should be looking over my shoulder or continually pulling the curtains shut.
First, let's just put out there, as with most of Stevens' books, a big warning for abuse triggers. Please make that known to anyone who might be affected by such a storyline.
One of the best things about this novel was the way Stevens slowly unfurled bits of the plot, making you go "wow" each time something was revealed. The book is divided into three parts, and the first one switches between the present and the past, showcasing some of Lindsey and Andrew's abusive marriage. It's very effective. In the later parts, we hear from both Lindsey and Sophie, who is now a nearly grown teenager. Again, it's a compelling storytelling tool and allows Stevens to work the unreliable narrator angle. Is Lindsey just imagining all this? Can we trust her? Has she just brainwashed Sophie against her father?
The novel sets up a series of suspects, and I admit that I guessed "who did it" before page 100, but I still enjoyed the book immensely. It took me longer to work out why, and I was quite engrossed in the characters. I liked both Lindsey and Sophie, though I didn't love them or feel particularly attached to either, but I so enjoyed the mechanics of the story and what was going to come next that I was completely engaged nonetheless. The novel is very chilling, very eerie, and written so vividly that you can quite imagine many of its more frightening and suspenseful scenes. I can easily see it being made into a movie where I would be peeking tensely through my sleeves.
Overall, this was a suspenseful, fast page-turner. Definitely a good, quick read. I'd say 3.75 stars rounded up to 4.
You can read my review of Chevy Stevens' THOSE GIRLS here.
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