Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson (3 out of 5)
This psychological thriller is out now, from the fine folks at William Morrow (aka Harper Collins). I was excited to undig it, because I had read a few weird books over the past few days and I needed to go back to my favorite genre. This was not quite what I expected. From the blurbs, I thought I was in for a thrill ride. It was closer to a chill ride. I knew who one of the bad guys was, and I predicted the ending about 75 pages from the end. Parts of the story were a bit too contrived for it to keep me on the edge of my seat. Closer to the edge of a sunken in lawn chair, actually.
Kate and her distant cousin Corbin do an apartment switch. She moves to Boston, he to London. At first, you think they both need a change of scenery. Especially Kate, who is battling panic attacks from a near-miss with an ex boyfriend. The same day, Corbin’s next door neighbor is found murdered, stabbed to death and left in a state you only see on a coroner’s table. Kate worries, but not until police detective Roberta James asks to search Corbin’s apartment, and not finding anything. After this, Kate is startled to discover a key in his drawer with the initials “AM” on it, same as the murder victim. To satisfy her curiosity, Kate sneaks over and tries the door and it opens. Of course, she has to check out the room. Across the way, a guy named Alan looks over and thinks he sees someone in the apartment. He dismisses it, and meets Kate the next day. The two strike up a conversation and flirt. In the meantime, Kate begins to feel freaked out in the apartment, as if she’s not alone. She straight out asks Corbin if he killed Audrey, and he denies it. Then things start to escalate. A guy who hangs around the apartment building named Jack starts to hang around Kate, questioning her relentlessly and making her wig out. Who is this guy? Did Corbin kill Audrey? If not, who did? Once Swanson starts the dominoes falling, things start to fall into place. The only problem with this is that I had guessed almost all of it. The one part I hadn’t guessed right on was something I had a suspicion about, and that turned out to be right. So, really, not a big thrill ride for me once I had it figured out. And that ending really did not sit right with me. Alan, despite the author’s attempt to humanize him, was a creeper. Plain and simple. Kate, however, was a great female lead. I enjoyed her greatly. The story just had too many openings that I could see into.