My decision to pick up this book was influenced by Rachel Abbott’s prolific tweets urging followers to buy – I finally gave in. But it’s the greatest tribute to any writer that having finished it – and “unputdownable” is much overused but truly describes this book – I immediately visited Amazon again and downloaded another, Only The Innocent (99p for Kindle at time of writing, as is this one).
This really is a highly accomplished psychological thriller, set in the vividly described village of Little Melham, where relationships are never what they seem and the evil never comes from quite where you’re expecting. The main characters are Ellie, uncertain about the state of her relationship with Max, living in her converted childhood home and hoping to find out the truth about her vanished father. Then there’s Leo, her half sister, unable to trust or love because of her family background. Other characters are equally well drawn, and we get
to know them all at a well staged dinner party.
Meanwhile, a young girl lies in a coma having been knocked down and dragged to the side of the road, a road used only by villagers, and there’s a whole cast of characters who might have been involved. But this book is so much more than a simple investigation into what has happened – there’s infidelity and tangled relationships, secrets from the past, violent and shocking twists and turns, a little romance and a real sense of menace with blackmail and secrets best kept hidden.
This is a really well written thriller, with strong and complex characters, which kept me reading until the small hours of the morning. It’s filled with false leads and red herrings, and my expectations about the outcome shifted hourly, the ending coming as a real surprise. And, as if the book isn’t enough in itself, Rachel Abbott has an excellent video trailer for the book a website with links to videos of the music (and a Spotify playlist) and a selection of featured recipes. The complete package indeed, and highly recommended to anyone who enjoys psychological thriller writing at its very best.