Kate Priddy survived a brutal attack from her possessive ex-boyfriend, although not without significant mental trauma. As she recovers, she receives an offer from her American cousin, Corbin Dell, to swap living arrangements. He wants to be in London and she seizes on the opportunity to move to Boston for six months. She thinks that the move will give her the chance to start again in peace and quiet…
Needless to say, that isn’t what she is going to find. Corbin’s next-door neighbour, Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. As Kate’s suspicions begin to turn towards Corbin himself, it seems that there is danger lurking around every corner. All of her new neighbours seem pleasant enough – but given that Kate can barely trust herself, and a ruthless killer on the prowl, can she trust anyone enough to stop a tragedy from happening?
Many thanks to Faber & Faber for the review copy. This is Peter Swanson’s third book, after The Girl With A Clock For A Heart and The Kind Worth Killing, neither of which has crossed my radar but have had a significant bookshop presences, in part due to the second being part of the Richard & Judy bookclub. Not that such an association is much of a recommendation in my book – the opposite in fact – but I thought that I’d take a look at this one.
It’s a refreshing straightforward thriller. I was a bit worried at first that it was going to be yet another unreliable narrator tale, given Kate’s issues and doubts about herself, but the author steers well clear of that area. In fact, every now and then, the point of view switches from Kate to one of the other characters and the picture of what led to the death of Audrey Marshall builds steadily.
It’s not really a mystery – once a certain part of back-story is given, the killer is clear, but that’s not the point of the story. It’s a thriller that takes its time to flesh out its relatively straightforward plot (Girl survives trauma only to suffer something remarkably similar) with believable characters and a narrative that is clever enough to keep the reader engaged throughout.
All in all, an engaging read that I couldn’t put down. As I said, mystery fans beware, as it’s not a whodunit, but it is a damn good thriller all the same. Highly Recommended.
Her Every Fear is released in the UK on Thursday 12th January from Faber & Faber.