“I splashed cold water on my face, let the rivulets run down my neck and onto my shirt. I stared into the mirror. Tried to remember how to rearrange my lips so I didn’t look so scared, softened the muscles around my eyes, rubbed at the smeared mascara.”
Having read and really enjoyed Those Girls, I was interested in reading Chevy Steven’s latest thriller. Told through each character’s perception, we peel back the layers of everything that has come to pass from eleven years ago when Lindsay escaped with her life from her abusive ex-husband, along with her child. He is being released, her fear is back but has he changed, as he claims? Early on in the novel the reader learns how insidious abuse is, the slow creep to it becoming a normal thing that the victim covers up, learns to function through. That in itself is the most terrifying part of any story, in my mind. Years later, Lindsay hires women who are putting their lives back together and she herself is in a relationship with a man named Greg- a man who is certainly tough, looks rough but is nothing like her ex. Her ex is the shadow in her life, and as she says ‘He’s going to make me pay for every year he spent behind bars.” But is she right?
Sophie begins writing letters to her father, opening her wounds for him about how ‘that night’ affected her. What she doesn’t expect is tender and conflicting feelings to blossom inside of her when he replies. An artist, much of her expressive, emotional state finds release through her work. Some things she should relate to her mother, she doesn’t. Her father has her questioning the truths she was so sure of, fed by her mom. The memories of a young child though, aren’t always the most reliable.
Just who is telling the truth, who is lying? What really happened? The characters are a complicated mess and nothing is as clear cut as they can be in these novels. Does Lindsay really have something to be afraid of, is she being stalked or is it all in her head? Can perception distort reality? Did her husband really love her and Sophie? You won’t know until the end. It kept me up last night turning the pages, and I was very happy with the ending.
Available March 14, 2017
St. Martin’s Press