Disclaimer by Renee Knight (4 out of 5)
I had a few million customers come in and tell me to read this book. But- as with GIRL ON THE TRAIN- I discounted what they said, because popular opinion and G are not happenstance bedfellows. We had a copy that got sun-damaged in our window and we couldn’t sell it as a result, so it got marked out. So I gave it a whirl. The lesson learned? You should listen to your customers more often, G. Duh. This was as page-turning and tilt-a- whirl as GOTT was. Must be something with me discovering great psychological suspense titles when the weather goes to shit. I’m going to recommend this one if you liked GOTT or Gillian Flynn- although I don’t think it’s quite to the level of Gillian Flynn yet- that’s why four stars and not five. It didn’t appeal to me right away, so that lost a bit of it for me. The others were right on with pulling me into them. But you will not see several things coming at you with this, and at the end, well, prepare yourself for overwhelming sadness. Because out of this great narrative of love, loss, and the darkness of the human spirit, comes some great sadness after all is said and done. I wasn’t quite prepared for that. Nor what happened with one of the leads and narrators of the story. But that, friends, is why it’s a fantastic read!
Catherine has a great life; a ‘content’ marriage and a ‘content’ relationship with her son, and a career. But that’s about to change. Catherine has a deep, dark secret, and someone else out there knows it. A book appears in her home, by her bedside, that causes her to lose her shit. She reads it, and goes to pieces. Instead of telling her husband and son what’s going on, she burns the book and thinks the unnamed threat will go away. Instead, it amplifies it. Her husband and son are ensnared in the Internet and book web of the silent stalker. Soon photographs appear. Robert, her husband, abandons her and their marriage. The stalker takes the book to her job and infiltrates himself with her coworkers. Catherine has a meltdown and goes after her coworker, earning herself a rep as a nutcase and some time off of work, along with therapy. Her son Nicholas begins to have serious doubts about his mom, someone he’s treated with quiet respect and uncalculated emotional distance the entirety of his adult life. Nicholas is a former drug addict who lost his job, and has a go nowhere relationship with a mystery girl, and seeing the photographs and hearing the story his mom has been hiding, he goes into a downward spiral and disappears. Catherine and her husband have to find him, but by the time they do, well, let’s just say the innocent always pay for the actions of the guilty. The mysterious book, you ask? It’s a thinly disguised book written about what Catherine’s past and the dark secret contain- and it destroys everything and everyone in its path. Is her stalker crazy, grief-stricken, or justified? What does this person want from her? This story takes ALL kinds of trippy sidewalks that you aren’t expecting, and you have to keep turning around and finding a new way to navigate, or the book just keeps spinning wilder and wilder out of control. In other words, something you should read!