Author: Sarah Pinborough
Rating: 5 Stars
Dates read: 19 Sep 18 – 27 Sep 18
Publication date: 17 May 2018
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller
Promises only last if you trust each other, but what if one of you is hiding something?
A secret no one could ever guess.
Someone is living a lie.
Is it Lisa?
Maybe it’s her daughter, Ava.
Or could it be her best friend, Marilyn?
*I received an e-ARC of this book courtesy of Harper Collins and Net Galley in return for a fair and honest review*
I received this book from Net Galley on a complete whim. I wanted to read a few thrillers and decided to apply because it didn’t quite sound like anything I had read before. The reason? I’ve never read anything like this before. This was a fresh mystery, a new take on what can be a predicable genre. I have a huge problem working out stories, reading ahead in my mind and coming back with the answer before we’re supposed to have the full picture and with this it wasn’t possible to do that. It was a really special story.
I am not usually a lover of multi perspective stories, however, Sarah Pinborough has used perspectives to drive this book in an unparalleled and superlative manner. We see the story from the point of view of a mother, of her daughter, of her friend, and later, from a stranger. We experience the idiosyncrasies of each character, their flaws and their motives from their points of view, but we also see the direct affect that it has on the other characters as a direct result. Sarah also used this storytelling method to drip feed information all over the place. Some pieces are red herrings, or we deliberately don’t have enough information to create the correct narrative. It was this technique that really took my breath away and allowed me to experience the mystery in a way I hadn’t fully experienced before.
The story unfolded as the character’s came alive and this powerful storytelling method drove the plot erratically and addictively. The author had a brilliant ability to make each character seem good when she needed them to seem flawless and innocent, yet introduce enough mystery and intrigue that you began to question their motives and their past. It’s so common to hear phrases like ‘the past is the key to the future’, but it really applied to this book, how you saw the characters, and ultimately where you imagined the story to go.
I have a bad habit of jumping to conclusions in my head and have read so many thrillers that I often find it difficult to find something engaging and new. This was definitely one of those books. In parts, it lacked any form of action, yet the tension built in these moments to the point where I had to keep listening and needed to know what would happen next. The book revolved around tiny revelations made through innocuous speeches or phrases, which kept me engaged and hooked in, afraid to miss anything juicy or relevant.
I don’t want to say to much for fearing of spoiling what was a gripping story and a fantastic ending. When I looked back, the answers, the people, and the clues were all there from start to finish in plain sight, but they were so expertly woven in, hidden, and shrouded that it was a pleasure to unpick them when I read it and then experience them again after.
If you love thoughtful thrillers, psychological mysteries, and unreliable narrators, this is definitely the book for you!