Published January 1, 2017 by Orenda Books
Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match, and she loves his son like he is her own. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it—a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.
I’ve had this book for a few months and debated whether I wanted to tackle another psychological thriller centered around domestic violence. What I can say is this is no ordinary psychological thriller! The author has taken an often taboo subject and turned it on it’s head, resulting in a very uncomfortable and often infuriating read in my opinion.
I was immediately taken with the engaging writing style and the way the author introduces us to Andy during the prologue, which was one of the best prologues I’ve read in recent memory. It drew me to Andy and I had to know what had led him to such a desolate, desperate place in his life. Moving on, we get a first hand seat to the love affair of Andy Boyd and Anna. A whirlwind romance you could say and all the while I just kept hoping Andy would slow down, take his time, I mean he has a 4 year old child, what’s the rush?? But you just KNOW Andy is taken with Anna and he lets his lust and attraction blind him to some very subtle red flags. I was definitely feeling apprehensive at this point in the story, knowing that at any time the other shoe was going to drop for Andy and I really didn’t want to be a witness to that!
The too good to be true feelings the author managed to create worked perfectly to set up what follows for Andy once he’s married to Anna.. oh yes, the other shoe dropped hard. Through use of detailed, descriptive writing along with just the right pacing, I was on the edge of my seat, literally feeling tightness in my chest as things start to go very wrong in the Boyd household. As someone with a background in mental health, specifically working with children from abusive and neglectful homes, I found myself thinking time and again that both Anna and Andy had some serious mental health issues going on between the 2 of them. Don’t get me wrong, I LIKED Andy, I felt for him, but I wanted to SCREAM at him for not seeing what the violence and lies within their home was doing to his young son Pat. Hence, my feelings of infuriation!!
The story is told from Andy’s perspective which really allowed us a close up view as to his thoughts and what drove his decisions. We meet his family and are also privy to a pretty detailed work storyline involving his job in the banking industry. I have to say, I thought the subplot involving work was going to go in a completely different direction and I was somewhat disappointed in how it resolved itself in the end. The ending itself also seemed somewhat rushed, where things happened rather quickly and a little conveniently. This, along with so much repetition of the word “wee” throughout the novel are my main critiques.
Overall, there are many things to like about the way the author chose to tell this story. I think what stood out the most for me was the characterization and the fact that by getting to know all the characters involved, I felt so many emotions ranging from hopefulness at one point to just plain sadness and infuriation at so many others. I can honestly say I haven’t felt such strong feelings about characters in a book since reading Gone Girl! If you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller that will put you through the emotional wringer, I’d suggest giving this a try.
Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my copy, I’m happy to provide an honest review.