Shortest summary ever: Lindsey Nash escapes and divorces her abusive husband who is in now (and fortunately) serving time in prison. She and her teenage daughter have created a meaningful, successful life for themselves until… Lindsey’s husband is released from prison and strange things start happening.
What’s good under the hood: I love Stevens’ writing style – it’s direct and her story-telling is accurately paced and intriguing. I love her engrossing characterization – that Lindsey is no damsel in distress. I hate to admit it, but I will, that I am often critical of women who stay in abusive relationships, particularly with the many resources available to help women (I solemnly swear I try not to judge) so I was thrilled that Lindsey is a take-control person – moved to a new location, protecting her daughter, attenting a support group, engaging in self-defense classes etc. What I loved most was the realistic portrayal of what it’s like when an abuser is freed from prison. They know the system. The system sucks. That feeling – being frightened yet not wanting to scare your child and at the same time feeling empowered to stay and not let the abuser win – I think that dynamic was wonderfully written and probably crazy accurate. The twists and turns are realistic and the suspense kept me hooked reading until 3am. No cloyingly dumb characters that sometimes plague the genre (yes!), thus intelligently written with taut suspense.
What’s bad or made me mad: Another book that I can’t think of anything too negative. Minor lulls in the storyline knocked off a mere 1/2 point. Close readers might catch some foreshadowing but many paths of suspicion will lead readers in different directions.
- Fans of suspense
- Another good book club read as it deals with abuse issues
- Stevens fans should be thrilled. I’ve only read one other book of hers but I’ve chatted with her diehards who firmly sit with me in the “Thumbs Up” category.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy in exchange for my sleepless night and my honest review.