It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a thriller. It used to be my favourite genre, but lately I’ve had a hard time finding ones that really excited me. Unfortunately, this one was no exception.
I chose to read this because one of my favourite booktubers listed it on her top 5 thrillers, so I went in with high hopes. I’d read Clare Mackintosh’s sophomore novel a couple of years ago and I remember thinking it was okay (also a 3-star, though), so I thought I’d give this one a try.
As this is still a solid thriller with a number of twists, I will try not to give anything away. The story starts with a small boy being killed in a car accident. His mother lets go of his hand, and he runs across the street and is run over by a car that flees the scene and dies on impact.
The story then picks up with Jenna moving to a small Welsh town, trying to escape her grief and that moment that ruined her life. She slowly starts to see a semblance of hope in her days, until the past comes back to haunt her.
In parallel, we have the police officers dealing with the case, and the shenanigans they get involved in trying to do their jobs.
All in all, I felt this book was fine at best. Just a warning, I will mention some minor spoilers here regarding the parts I disliked.
The problem I had is that I did not feel connected to any of the characters. I am sure the first twist is supposed to shock you because it reframes how a certain character is perceived, and there is supposed to be an internal contradiction in the reader. Intellectually, I understand that’s what the author is trying to do, but I didn’t give a flying brick about the character before, so it was completely lost on me.
Also, the final twist, which I think was supposed to be shocking, felt flat to me. Of course, things went deeper than they seemed. And from the breadcrumbs the author was sprinkling throughout the novel, the ending fell pretty much in line with that and it was just fine. I also disliked the subplot with the cops and the semi-cheating, it felt unnecessary.
In the end, I can’t point out anything specific that is wrong with this book, it just left me feeling unsatisfied.