Published By: Quercus
Released On: 07/07/2022
Twelve-year-old Sophie and her mother, Amelia-Rose, move to London from Massachusetts where they meet the charismatic Matty Melgren, who quickly becomes an intrinsic part of their lives. But as the relationship between the two adults fractures, a serial killer begins targeting young women with a striking resemblance to Amelia-Rose.
When Matty is eventually sent down for multiple murder, questions remain as to his guilt — questions which ultimately destroy both women. Nearly twenty years later, Sophie receives a letter from Battlemouth Prison informing her Matty is dying and wants to meet. It looks like Sophie might finally get the answers she craves. But will the truth set her free — or bury her deeper?
I’ve had this book on my shelf ever since it was released and yet never seemed to get round to reading it, but it soon became too tempting, and once I’d started, it was very hard to stop.
It does take a little while to get going, and at first I thought that was a bad thing but once you get more into it, it’s obvious why it’s like this. She’s giving us time to get to know our characters and become invested in their life, which is why we’re so shocked when the murders start happening. It’s done in such a subtle way that it’s more frightening than if it was full-on from the start.
I wasn’t a fan of the main character Sophie at first. I liked her during the chapters where she was an adult, but as a child I found her a bit annoying. Her mum Amelia-Rose and the male protagonist Matty were instantly likeable to me. And I don’t mean that their characters were likeable characters, but the way they were written felt more well rounded and they worked excellently against the naivety of 12-year-old Sophie.
It’s a slow burner when it comes to being a thriller. Don’t get me wrong, it is thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable, but it’s psychologically thrilling in a very subtle way, so much so that you don’t even notice it at first. It sucks you in and then you can’t get out until you’ve got answers,
It feels so real that I was always on the edge of telling people about these murderer as if I’d just heard it on the news. There is this very clever blurring between fiction and reality.
You end up second guessing yourself all the way through. Is everyone who they say they are? Who can you trust? Who is guilty and who is innocent? It presents a number of questions. Would you know if someone you loved was capable of such evil? Would you still be able to love them? Would love blind you to the truth? How far would you be willing to go to protect the person you loved?
You end up discovering things at the same time as the characters. You’re in amidst the investigation, trying to work out the clues. There’s twists and turns everywhere you look but you’re always one step behind, or Victoria Selman is always two steps ahead. You’ll find yourself gasping out loud and shouting “what?!” on more than one occasion.
It is exceptionally written. I don’t know if any of Victoria’s previous books are of the same genre but even if they’re not, I need to seek out more of her writing – even if it’s just to support her, us Victorias need to support each other.
One of the greatest thrillers I’ve read and definitely a contender for my top books of the year.