This book had been on my TBR list for a while but I just hadn’t managed to start it. The Snow and lack of motivation to do some revision created the perfect opportunity to pick up this ‘Sunday Times Bestseller’. Described on the front cover as a sliding doors thriller ( by Clare Douglas) this moralistic story deals with two simultaneous timelines differing only because of one decision, made in the heat of the moment.
We all know the dangers that you face, walking home alone, at night after leaving a bar. The news today if full of warning stories, so when Joanna and her BFF Laura feel uncomfortable about the advances of a gentleman in a bar and decide to leave its completely understandable that Jo is a little jumpy on her walk to the tube. What would you do in her situation?
“You make a snap decision. You turn. You push.
Your Pursuer tumbles down the steps.
He lies motionless, face down on the floor.”
This is where the story splits.
We follow the life of the Jo who calls 999, and the Jo who walks away.
Its interesting to see the same traits in a character affect them completely differently, and to see how the people around her are affected and influenced by what she does, and doesn’t do. We learn about Laura’s life and how far friendship goes, if it can survive everything Jo does; her husband, Ruben, hes an all round good guy and a
little odd – will he stand by the 999 Jo? or will he spot something is wrong with the Jo who walked away?
The chapters are split between conceal and reveal, helping you identify which action thread you are following but the Jo’s are so cleverly written it doesn’t need it, ( That and they alternate to keep both timelines constant)
We are drawn to the outcome of all of the characters, Where will Jo end up – was it the right thing to call 999 or would her life have been better if she kept quiet? Would her marriage and friendships last the distance? Will her relationship with her family improve or suffer?
Naturally I wanted to root for the Jo who made the right decision and calls 999 but the appealing part of of the story is finding out if doing the right thing was the best thing in the long term. I wanted the ‘good Jo’ to have all the things she should, and for the ‘bad Jo’ to suffer for her sins, but I also wanted to see what keeping that kind of secret did to the people around you.
There’s a lovely moral to the story that reminds you that lying doesn’t just affect you, and to think about the actions you take. Don’t just react. Think!