I do have to say that I liked parts of the book. I think the biggest reason why I only gave it 3 stars was that Cass seemed beyond ridiculous and naive at times. Can we get a strong female character in a suspense book for once who doesn’t do things like go out into the dark in search of a killer? We women do have common sense. Also it didn’t make a lot of sense to me why she didn’t want to go to the police at first with what she knew. Finally, the ending went way too fast and I wanted more of a resolution especially after what we find out.
Cass is happily married to her husband Matthew. She’s a teacher and about to enjoy the summer holidays. Though there are a couple of storm clouds in her life (her best friend Rachel doesn’t like her husband, a colleague still has a crush on her, and she worries constantly she may have inherited her mother’s early onset dementia). When Cass comes home through the woods on a stormy night, she sees a woman in a car. Cass stops to see if the woman needs help.
Okay right here I have to interject. This whole scene was beyond dumb. Cass stops, but doesn’t get out of the car. Cause of the rain. So she feels annoyed the woman doesn’t get out of her car and I really wanted to say why don’t you back up and pull up beside her and roll down the window you moron. Sorry, sorry, still feeling the effects of the Dean Koontz book.
Anyway, Cass shrugs her shoulders and goes home. When she wakes up the next day her husband tells her that a woman was found down the road near their home murdered. And from there Cass starts to spiral. Guilt wares with her and she doesn’t tell her friend or husband that she passed the woman and didn’t help. When she finds out that she actually knew the dead woman, Jane Walters, she feels even more guilty especially since they actually met and then had dinner and drinks one evening. Cass doesn’t go to the police because she’s scared she will be blamed for not stopping (yeah I don’t know either). As this is going on, Cass starts getting mysterious phone calls with no one speaking and she starts to feel as if she’s losing her mind. She starts forgetting where her car is, upcoming appointments she agreed to, things she bought, and she starts to become afraid the killer is stalking her. She of course can’t tell her husband or anyone else why she’s afraid the killer is after her because then she would have to admit to not stopping. It’s a never ending exhausting circle of being in Cass’s head when she’s making bad decisions.
So Cass is frustrating. I don’t know what else to say about this. I saw big red flashing lights and wanted to tell her to wake the heck up. I get why she was scared to admit she may be forgetting some things and having it confirmed that she spoke to people, but doesn’t recall the conversations. However, we go from that extreme to suddenly she’s taking pills? I don’t even know if there is medication for early onset dementia, but whatever she’s taking make her just sleep all day and she is totally out of it. I think that Paris wrote it that way since she didn’t know what else to do with Cass until we get to the 3/4 of the book. Also where are her supposed friends? We have Rachel occasionally calling, but Cass seems to be popular, how did no one check in on her or stop by? I get messages all day from my two best friends back home. And my family has our group chats and videos. It just felt a bit bizarre after a while.
The other characters are not very developed. We know that Cass loves her husband, and she talks about his looks, however, there doesn’t seem to be much there. Does he like books? Does he like reading? What about them? What drew her to him and vice versa? Paris sets it up they met out one night, but I got nothing from the first meeting and just didn’t get it.
Cass’s best friend Rachel loves her and supports her, and doesn’t like her husband. It’s never said why, just they don’t warm up to each other. I wonder how Cass never brings it up since it causes a lot of tension. Though Rachel was there for Cass when her mother got ill and supported her, the two friends seem to barely connect these days.
There’s not many other people. We have the dead woman’s husband, a friend of Cass’s, and we find out the weird connection that Cass has to the murdered woman.
The writing was okay, but repetitive beyond belief after a while. I get that Cass is getting mysterious phone calls, that she’s forgetting things, etc. That is a good 3/4 of this book. The overall mystery beyond who killed the woman on the side of the road is mostly ignored except for Cass deciding to push herself in on the woman’s widow. I was hoping that Paris wasn’t going for the ending I saw coming, but unfortunately she did. So I was also disappointed with the resolution of the murder mystery.
The flow was up and down. Even though Paris marks the chapters with date headings to show us the passage of time, it just felt like after a while we were skipping past whole weeks and just be with Cass as she is still scared and drugged out of her mind. Then when we get to the 3/4 of the book everything happens very quickly. The book throws so much information at you, that you don’t even have a chance to process things. And then we get to Cass’s hare-brained scheme and I just shook my head.
The ending was a bit of a disappointment. I don’t know what else to say except I loathe guessing the bad guy(s) in book up front and I figured out what was likely going on about 20 percent into the book. I wanted there to be more closure considering what went on before hand.