Published March 14, 2017 by St Martin’s Press
Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change?
**I’ve got a super busy family week ahead this week so I apologize in advance if I miss sharing reviews and/or commenting on posts, I’ll catch up at the end of the week! **
This review has been somewhat tough for me to write. You see, I’ve read most of Chevy Steven’s books (except Those Girls) and have massive love for Still Missing which I regularly recommend to those looking for a thrilling mystery. That Night is another favorite. So you could say I was pretty excited when I got my hands on this one. I went into this with a vague idea of the fact that it’s about an abusive marriage in which the wife manages to escape and then the husband gets out of prison and things start to go downhill for her.
If this sounds like a familiar storyline it’s because it is of course. Domestic thrillers have been taking over the psychological thriller genre for quite some time and in terms of movies, there’s the hugely popular Sleeping with the Enemy. I was convinced Chevy would bring something new to the table, something that might make me hold my breath and feel tense throughout. Unfortunately, for me, that just didn’t happen. I’ve thought for the last 4 days about why this book didn’t grab me and I can’t come up with one specific reason. I think, maybe, it’s a combination of factors, including a lack of character connection on my part and a dislike of the narrative structure.
The story starts off from Lindsey’s perspective in 2005 and we are immediately submersed in the dance of destruction and manipulation that is her and Andrew’s marriage. To make matters worse, their young daughter Sophie is witness to it. I wondered if I would’ve felt differently had she chosen to start the story in the past when they first met which is where it eventually jumps to. So while I’m on the subject, if you’re a fan of frequently alternating perspectives and multiple jumping timelines then you’ll probably really like this narrative structure. I’m not and I think that’s another reason I wasn’t engaged with the story. The novel goes back and forth between Lindsey’s perspective and her teenage daughter Sophie’s, as well as shifting time perspectives from the past when they met to the past during their marriage to present day. There is LOTS of jumping around which, for me, led to a lack of feeling connected and engaged with the plot and characters. Also, I’m not sure I completely bought into Sophie’s motivations of totally disregarding everything her mother said about her violent dad. This and the rest of the teenage angst storyline fell flat for me.
So, here’s the interesting part about my reading experience with this book….I read it in about 4 hours…that’s how incredibly “readable” it is. Chevy Steven’s writing just flows, there’s something about the way she writes that makes you stay glued to the pages and turning them as quickly as possible. In terms of the mystery, there isn’t a lot of possibilities as to the who so you very well may figure that out (as I did) but the why and how played out in an interesting fashion. I was very impressed with how the author pulled together all the loose threads into a tight conclusion! Overall though, I just felt underwhelmed with this one but it very well may be a case of wrong book wrong time for me as the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon are excellent. Give this a try if you like fast paced psychological thrillers with alternating timelines and perspectives.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley for my copy, I’m happy to provide an honest review