Although this psychological thriller is told mainly through the alternating narrative voices of Brioni and Cressida, occasionally (and increasingly) the reader hears the voice of Emily Jane, Cressida’s seventeen-year-old daughter, who is engaging online with a distinctly dodgy sounding character called Danny Boy. I enjoyed the author’s creation of these strong, multi-faceted female characters to carry the complex storyline and was able to believe in the psychological profiles she developed for them. In fact, by the time I reached the end of the story I found myself hoping that maybe this won’t be the last time I get to spend time in their company! I was particularly impressed with how the author portrayed Emily Jane, and her role in the developing story, in such a nuanced way. I’d love to be able to illustrate this with some examples but doing that would introduce spoilers so, all I can do is urge you to read this story and discover for yourself what a surprisingly wonderful character she is!
The author’s portrayal of Laurence as not only an adulterer, but also a ruthless, amoral businessman who is prepared to lie, bully and blackmail in order to get his own way, created a character who was instantly (and depressingly!) recognisable. Although in many ways I found her depiction rather too stereotypical, it did make it very easy to thoroughly dislike him for his self-centred disregard for his wife and daughter, his colleagues and friends … as well as for his corrupt business practices!
It very quickly becomes apparent that there are multiple strands to the fast-moving, labyrinthine plot and although I found some of them rather predictable, as the story unfolded there were enough red-herrings and credible twists and turns to make this an engaging, tension-filled and page-turning read. The final denouement, although very satisfying, did require some suspension of disbelief but by then I felt invested enough in the three female characters to want a satisfactory outcome for each of them, so I didn’t find that too difficult to achieve!
‘It seems everyone has secrets’, is the last sentence in this rather dark and menacing thriller and, given the number which are uncovered as the story unfolds (right up to final pages), it felt a particularly apt reflection on which to bring this roller-coaster of a read to an end!