Genre: Crime, Thriller and Mystery – Psychological thriller.
It has been a couple of days since I finished this book, and I’m still thinking about it. That’s how powerful and chilling this novel was.
The novel beings a little confusingly, and particular focus on the dates is needed to read it without confusion. We begin with a report of a court case in 2005, with Lee Brighman talking about his relationship with Catherine Baily. Then it flicks back to 2001, and the death of a woman called Naomi. For the rest of the novel, the story flicks between events in 2003 and 2007. The novel is based around Catherine Baily, and her life “then” and “now”. To begin with, it is not obvious that these two people are the same, due to the huge personality differences between the two dates. Once realised that these are the same person, it is immediately obvious that a life changing even has happened in order to cause this.
Catherine enjoyed single life, and lived it to the full. When she see Lee, she know’s he’s a good catch. He’s gorgeous, spontaneous and protective. But as the book progresses, he begins to change. This protective behaviour becomes possessive and controlling, his charm leads to him being manipulative, and his attentiveness leads to stalking. Soon, Catherine knows she needs to escape, but cannot.
The present part of the books is set after Lee has been charged, but is just about to be released. Suffering from OCD and knowing that he is out there, Catherine has to try and continue with her life whilst wondering if and when he is going to find her…
I really enjoyed this book. It’s dark, chilling and very disturbing. The contrast between then and now is so powerful, and really allowed you to see why people may stay in those abusive relationships. However, this novel will be very uncomfortable for some people to read; if you have any issues with reading about abuse, rape or violence, do not read this book. It is not a light book, it is very graphic, and disturbing.
As a side note, this novel was originally written as part of the National Novel Writing Month challenge (www.nanowritmo.org) in which you write a 40,000 word novel in a month. To get this published, and to be as big a success as this, I think is very impressive, and is definitely encouraging for those who are wishing to become authors.