Four friends since childhood who are now in their early thirties:
Tina Jameson – has suicidal thoughts and suffers from debilitating depression. It all stemmed from an event in her teens when her three closest friends turned against her… We get to know Tina via her blog entries. NOW, Tina has gone missing. She left her phone and purse at home and just walked out of her house and vanished.
Lauren Gibbons– is our most predominant narrator. She is autistic and works in an office. Her flat is trashed when she is out running. They didn’t take anything – but they did leave something…
Claire Rossi – is a secondary school teacher. Her hard-worked for career is put in jeopardy after allegations come to light…
Jess Mako – is a beautiful model. She is in a steady relationship but is not faithful to her partner. She has a tragic automobile accident…
I was invested in finding out what the girls did to Tina, and found this novel, for the most part, to be a well composed psychological thriller. There was an ominous feel to the narrative.
Told mostly from Lauren’s viewpoint, it also had short chapters that included Tina’s blog posts, some letters from Claire to her dead parents, and another narrative from an unidentified character.
Many serious themes were touched upon. Illegal drugs, mental illness, toxic friendships, betrayal, guilt, regret, and revenge.
Lauren, Claire and Jess feel guilty about what they did years ago to Tina. Lauren even more so than the others. Are they responsible for her disappearance? Has she killed herself? What did they do back then? That question is the driving force of the plot.
Meanwhile – an ‘investigator’ who calls himself Ray is following Lauren. He is in his late fifties and has a definite creepy vibe. He maintains that he made a promise to someone which he must honour. He knows everything about Lauren.
Sadly, I didn’t connect or empathize with any of the characters. They didn’t seem likeable and I felt they probably deserved the revenge that was being dished out to them in spades.
The ending of this suspenseful tale didn’t seem to belong to the rest of the book. It appeared as if the author wasn’t sure how to end her tale so she switched genres near the end. So, while I enjoyed the read, the odious characters and unsatisfying ending ruined the overall impact of this literary debut for me. If you’ve read this novel I’d love to hear your thoughts… If you haven’t yet read it, I must let you know that it is available on Kindle Unlimited.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from the author for review.
Independently Published – Publication date: October 1, 2021
ISBN: 9798541526417 ASIN: B09B1BX5RD – 322 pages
N S Ford is a book fanatic, blogger and cat lover who lives in the UK with her family. She has a First Class degree in English. When not reading or blogging, she juggles her writing time with parenting, working in heritage and playing the piano. She is the author of ‘We Watch You‘: a dark psychological thriller with a speculative twist.
So sorry you didn’t get along with the characters. I personally loved the ending, but I appreciate it’s not for everyone.
Yes Kelly. It’s a good thing that we all don’t agree on each title. There is a book for every reader, and a reader for every book.
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Sorry for your disappointing read!
The first half of this book was intriguing Carol. The genre switch let it down in my opinion.
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