Thank you to Avon Books for sending me an advance copy of this book & for including me on the Blog Tour. I was so excited to read this because I really enjoy Callies books, they always have a strong female character and have that little twist in the last chapter that makes you wish there was another 100 pages to read.
The Lyrics from Lily Allens song, by the same name really do sum how I envisage the main character, Lou’s feelings after finishing this one:
“I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When do you think it will all become clear
‘Cause I’m being taken over by the fear”
The story flickers between past and present, so we can understand why Lou is where she is today. As a victim of child grooming by her karate teacher, years on the ordeal is still very real and preventing her living her life as she would like. She hasn’t shared with her current boyfriend what has happened in her past, and that history is the reasons he reacts the way she does, and a romantic gesture from him suddenly goes horribly wrong.
Lou then ends up back in her hometown, cleaning out her parents old cottage to sell. Part of the motivation is to she him one more time. But then she realises that she should have turned up for court and testified all those years ago because Mike has his claws into another young girl. Just like Lou, Chloe is enthralled by Mikes older man charms, and the escape he provides, and when he disappears he takes whats left of her self esteem with him, and her world changes very suddenly.
There’s an underlying theme around bad parenting and unhappy marriages, and childhoods that’s supporting the realism of this story, and whilst Mikes ex wife Wendy seems like a small character, the story would have been completely different without her.
We have alot of focus in the media at the moment around the way women have been treated, and in many cases still are (#TimesUp), which should be reminding us that whilst this is a wonderfully intense and moving fictional story it has roots in the real world that need to be weeded before they are allowed to grow.
I won’t ruin it for you, but this ones a read for the fans of physcological thrillers, who don’t get caught up in the ugliness of the topic. Its dark and twisted, but written in a beautiful way to focus on the storyline, and need good to triumph over evil.
The books out now, go and buy it!