Adele Rafferty – an Irish actress has moved to Los Angeles after a major career set-back. She works as a motel receptionist and is almost on the brink of giving up her dreamed of acting career altogether. Then… she receives a phone call from Ireland. Perhaps her acting career has hope after all. She has been offered the lead in a horror movie due to start filming almost immediately. She drops everything and boards a plane to Ireland.
Although the blurb of this book didn’t really grab me at first, I wanted to read it solely because I’m such a fan of this author. Her excellent writing kept me engrossed in the story despite the fact that the plot just wasn’t up to her usual standard.
Setting and characterization were the leading elements of this horror/thriller genre bender. The remote, cold, and creepy woodland was one to make you shiver regardless of the temperature where you are. The isolation, without cell service or WiFi, added a sinister element. The protagonist, Adele Rafferty, was one who was easy to empathize with.
The plot however… it left me as discombobulated and disoriented as the protagonist. Like a fun house of distorted mirrors.
With themes of desperation, gaslighting, revenge, and envy, there was a lot to admire in this book. However, compared to this author’s former brilliant novels, this one left me rather underwhelmed.
Publication date: August 16, 2022
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
ISBN: 9781982694685 – ASIN: B09S3Y7PYN – 350 pages
Catherine Ryan Howard was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Prior to writing full-time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front desk agent in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently was a social media marketer for a major publisher. She is currently based in Dublin where she is binge-watching Netflix, drinking copious amounts of coffee and working on her next novel.