I have only read one of Nicci French’s books and that was the 5th book in her popular Frida Klein series. It was about three years ago when I first read that book and I recall feeling like I was missing out on a lot of the behind the scenes friendships and connections by picking up the series midway through.
Which is why I didn’t continue the series after that book. She has written a few other standalone books though and I was excited to see this one come across my desk for review since it was one of her first standalone novels in quite a while!
By picking up this standalone book, I hoped to get more of a feel for her writing rather than trying to sort out how the characters all knew each other.
In this thrilling standalone from the internationally bestselling author of the Frieda Klein series, a married woman’s affair with her boss spirals into a dangerous game of chess with the police when she discovers he’s been murdered and she clears the crime scene of all evidence.
One little secret between a married woman, her lover, and a killer.
It should have been just a mid-life fling. A guilty indiscretion that Neve Connolly could have weathered. An escape from twenty years of routine marriage to her overworked husband, and from her increasingly distant children. But when Neve pays a morning-after visit to her lover, Saul, and finds him brutally murdered, their pied-à-terre still heady with her perfume, all the lies she has so painstakingly stitched together threaten to unravel.
After scrubbing clean every trace of her existence from Saul’s life—and death—Neve believes she can return to normal, shaken but intact. But she can’t get out of her head the one tormenting question: what was she forgetting?
An investigation into the slaying could provide the answer. It’s brought Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Hitching, and Neve’s worst fears, to her door. But with every new lie, every new misdirection to save herself, Neve descends further into the darkness of her betrayal—and into more danger than she ever imagined. Because Hitching isn’t the only one watching Neve. So is a determined killer who’s about to make the next terrifying move in a deadly affair (summary from Goodreads)
Not only was I excited to try something else by this author, but when ultimately drew me in more was the fact that this plot sounded so cliche but yet with an odd twist. Routine office affair between married woman and her boss—-sounds cliche right? But odd twist in that her lover is found dead and she just decides to pretend like the whole thing never happened. This familiar but yet odd summary hinted at a complex psychological thriller that I was eager to try out.
I mostly found this book well written (as expected) but I was surprised to find that it got a little bogged down at times with Neve’s thoughts and I just felt like I needed less of that in a book like this. I liked Neve quite a bit and found her interesting and friendly, as was expected of her character but I sometimes felt like there was a little too much thinking and it just slowed parts of the story down for me.
There were moments in the story that felt a little far fetched but I tried to ignore some of those and just go with it. I did enjoy how this one pulled me in right away, allowing me to ultimately get wrapped up in the story rather than getting bogged down with some of the details and musings of the character.
All things said, I thought this was a good book. I wasn’t blown away, but I enjoyed reading it and never guessed who the murderer was. There were lots of twists and turns pulling me this way and that, so I loved that aspect of this book. I ended up giving this one 3.5 stars because the twists were so strong but would have given it 4 stars if it wasn’t so far fetched.