I have only read one book by Lisa Jewell but I loved it and I was so excited to receive and ARC of her latest novel to read this fall!
I really enjoyed The Family Upstairs but this one sounded a little darker and more intense than The Family Upstairs, but I was really looking forward to it and was eager to sit down on a dark and stormy lazy weekend to devour this one.
One thing that I felt after reading Jewell’s The Family Upstairs was that she has a great way of adding substance and depth to all of her characters which is not always the case in the thriller genre. So when I picked this one up, that’s what I was expecting, in depth characters in a fast paced novel.
The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.
Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.
In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.
Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.
Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.
With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author). (summary from Goodreads)
This book was more of a slow burn than I was expecting. I mean it definitely picked up and I read it quickly but it starts off a little on the slower side. It also reminded me a little bit of a Law and Order SVU episode with the various sexual assaults so that held my interest and kept things interesting.
Since I haven’t read all of Jewell’s novels I found that I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I know that some of her devoted readers didn’t like this one as much as some of her others but I think this one was a great follow up to The Family Upstairs. It had a lot of twists and turns and it was a little on the darker side but also read like a thriller even if the beginning started a little slower than expected.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the things I love about Jewell is her ability to fully develop her characters. Each one was unique and interesting in a way that if often absent in the thriller genre. I loved each characters unique voice and POV. This one made my skin crawl and held my interest well past my bed time a couple of nights this last week but I wasn’t even sorry a little bit about that.
Even though this is only my second book by Jewell, it won’t be my last. It was a great read with lots to hold my interest. While I might have liked The Family Upstairs better, this was still a great thriller that you should not pass on. It is a dark twisty novel with a slow burn element!
Book Info and Rating
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: October 13th 2020 by Atria Books
ISBN1982137339 (ISBN13: 9781982137335)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Atria Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: thriller, mystery