author: Shari Lapena
published: 28 July 2020
publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads
It starts with a shocking accusation...
Stephanie and Patrick are recently married, with new-born twins. While Stephanie struggles with the disorienting effects of sleep deprivation, there’s one thing she knows for certain – she has everything she ever wanted.
Then a woman from his past arrives and makes a shocking accusation about his first wife. He always claimed her death was an accident – but she says it was murder.
He insists he’s innocent, that this is nothing but a blackmail attempt. But is Patrick telling the truth? Or has Stephanie made a terrible mistake?
How will it end?
- my review
- a few notes
This is a great domestic thriller that just may leave you with more questions than answers by the time you close the book. As all good domestic thrillers do, the story began with what seems like an entirely normal relationship between two people. Then, as happens, their lives are turned on end until it becomes a tangled mess of lies and betrayal. Soon, it begs the question… how well do you really know your partner? It is the kind of book that makes you look at your own partner and wonder just who they really are.
The mood of the novel is set right from the beginning… suspenseful, tense, and dangerous. The author’s writing style definitely added to the feel of the story, even as much as her word choice, often using short sentences to convey a sense of urgency, a sense of fear. The story is told from multiple perspectives, allowing the characters to be revealed in ways that add to the mood, in bits and pieces. It keeps the reader guessing, trying to figure who is telling the truth and who isn’t.
The plot is very twisty, with lots of unexpected moments that keep the reader guessing, and often guessing incorrectly. There may be differences of opinion concerning the ending, with many people feeling it fell flat or was uncharacteristic. I disagree with both of these feelings. For me, it felt on point and entirely possible. Because who knows what any of us are capable of in the worst moments of our lives? People are unpredictable.
content warning: ❗some graphic violence❗
POV: 3rd person
keywords/phrases: marriage, infidelity, murder, lies, intrigue
I love this quote from the book…
“It makes her wonder if love is just an illusion, one that disappears when reality gets too dark. No, she decides. Love is real. The love she feels for her baby daughters is real. But romantic love – maybe that’s all an illusion.”
- 2023 Linz the Bookworm Reading Challenge