Spooky season means spooky novels read in bed while eating sweets. I’m ridiculously siked to just lose myself in a seemingly limitless world of lies, betrayal and murder, driven for the most part by young-ish white women with troubled pasts.
Gimme gimme gimme.
I’ve made a decent start with this, the sometimes unsettling tale of a young-ish white woman author tasked with completing a collection of hugely popular novels by a best selling writer who can’t finish them due to ill health.
By Colleen Hoover
Are you ready to stay up all night? Rebecca meets Gone Girl in this shocking, unpredictable thriller with a twist that will leave you reeling… via Amazon
*No intentional spoilers*
Lowen is a bit of a mess following the recent(ish) passing of her mother, a woman she shared a complicated history with. Single and living alone, she’s on the cusp of being evicted when she’s offered an intriguing proposition – to finish the final books in world famous author Verity Crawford’s popular series. For a very tidy sum no less. This kind of money could kick start the rest of her life so it’s hard to turn down – but will she live to regret her decision?
Sadly Verity – following a horrific car accident – isn’t in a position to aid the transition so Lowen can only do the work herself, moving into the Crawford family home and sorting through the author’s chaotic office space herself, for clues of where the series might be headed.
On the first night she finds a manuscript containing Verity’s very honest autobiography and her whole world implodes. Will she uncover the truth of what really happened to the woman’s young daughters, who died tragically within six months of each other?
What about the intensely passionate relationship she shared with her husband, Jeremy – the very same man Lowen can feel herself drawing closer to?
A FEW THOUGHTS
The blurb on this book is incredibly gushing – as it would be – comparing it to Rebecca of all things. While I can accept this in terms of the story arc, it’s obviously nowhere as haunting, or as good. I figured early on who the culprit was, if not why, so I don’t think it’s as clever as it thinks it is or as tightly woven – but I did enjoy it.
I like the ambiguous ending and the setting but I didn’t care for Lowen much, she’s dull as dishwater. Instead I wanted more Verity, who we only know via her manuscript, which might be completely disconnected from the truth anyway.
There are some atmospheric moments here and there – the use of locked doors is cool and the odd jumpscare unsettled me but it isn’t a game changer. It is a good start to spooky reading season though so I’m happy.
– Genre: Thriller, Mystery
– My score: 3.5/5
– Pages: 333
– Published 16 Dec. 2021