From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, a riveting standalone novel about the unexpected, shattering, and lethal consequences of a one-night stand on a seemingly happily married couple.
Kate loves her life. At forty-four, she’s happily married to her kind husband, Ron, blessed with two wonderful children, and has a beautiful home in San Francisco. Everything changes, however, when she and Ron attend a dinner party and meet another couple, Peter and Jill. Kate and Peter only exchange a few pleasant words but that night, in bed with her husband, Kate is suddenly overcome with a burning desire for Peter.
What begins as an innocent crush soon develops into a dangerous obsession and Kate’s fixation on Peter results in one intense, passionate encounter between the two. Confident that her life can now go back to normal, Kate never considers that Peter may not be so willing to move on.
Not long after their affair, a masked man barges into the café Kate is sitting in with her best friend, firing an assault weapon indiscriminately into the crowd. This tragedy is the first in a series of horrifying events that will show Kate just how grave the consequences of one mistake can be.
What drew me to this book was that awesome cover and title. It just seems to scream doom and gloom and the possibility of creepiness. Based on the blurb, which is enticing although somewhat misleading , and my past enjoyment of stories centered around the consequences of infidelity…think Presumed Innocent, Fatal Attraction, Unfaithful, The Kind Worth Killing…I was excited to give this one a go. I have to say, for the first 30 percent (kindle reading:) I was engaged with the story and feeling that there was definitely a set up of dire consequences coming for Kate and Peter. A possible Fatal Attraction type of scenario felt imminent and I was excited. I was, however, also ignoring my small reading voice that said there are parts here that don’t add up and the motivations of Kate and Peter’s characters aren’t really making sense. I won’t give away any of the plot but I will say my hopes for where the story might be going didn’t pan out. In fact, for me it took some odd turns.
As the story progresses and we get to know a rather large cast of unlikeable characters, there was one character I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and that was Beth, Kate’s good friend and walking buddy. Beth is also a cop and will come to feature prominently in the mystery that ensues. Beth and her partner Ike were (thankfully) two people I could root for. As I said, Beth plays a large role in the story as there occurs a particular crime where the list of possible suspects is endless. I always enjoy a good crime puzzle with lots of potential suspects so that part of the story worked for me. I had many theories as to who the guilty party was and they kept changing as new evidence came to light. Although the story didn’t at all go where I thought and hoped it was going to, I managed to stay engaged with the narrative but the farther along the plot progressed, the harder it became to do so. It felt like there were too many threads that didn’t connect or if they did they felt forced for the sake of trying to make parts “fit.” In addition, there were a couple subplots that I just didn’t care about and I was left wondering how they contributed to the overall plot. I’m still not sure.
Overall, what really worked for me was Beth’s character and the fact that the narrative was told in a linear framework; there were no back and forth perspectives or past/present switchbacks which I appreciated. I also thought the setting was perfect for the story and the dialogue was top notch. Unfortunately, too many other parts just didn’t work for me including the ending which I will let you all judge for yourself.
This book will be published January 24 by Atria Books
Many thanks to Atria Books via Netgalley for my copy. I’m happy to provide an honest review.