When Emily Klein wakes up in hospital, her life is a mess. Her husband died in their car accident. She cannot recollect what happened before they hit the tree, only that they were having a severe fight. Back home, she tries to sort her life, but strange things happen and she more and more questions not only her memory but also her senses. It is not the first time in her life that dubitable things happen and that her state of mind is in a poor condition: abused as a child, she killed her father – at least that’s what she thinks she did. Maybe also this is only a false memory. Is her brain playing tricks on her or is it a person who wants to seriously do her harm?
I really enjoyed reading Diane Jeffrey’s novel because it could convince me on different levels. First of all, from a psychological point of view, we have the woman who was abused by her father as a child, did not have any adult at that time that she could confide in and had to endure the molestation over years without knowing what to do about it. This must leave traces and scars. Trusting someone is not easy, especially after a year in an institution where she also did not encounter any affection. The only bond she ever really established was with her sister who became her reference point in all respects and whom she trusted without any doubt. On the other hand, the novel is full of suspense. We as the reader only know what Emily knows thus, quite naturally, there are things which escape us and we do not have any access to. Although we quite soon learn what happened in her past, the present remains a mystery. Additionally, we slowly start doubting the sympathetic protagonist. She might be suffering from some kind of brain damage or just a lack of memory, some blanks or misconceptions. Can we trust her? We would like to, but at some point, you just cannot be sure how reliable she is. This make reading the novel not tremendously thrilling, but definitely gripping and exciting.
A thriller with a realistic and compelling protagonist and a well-constructed plot that does not slow down at any moment. I particularly appreciated the psychological factors incorporated which added to the novel’s depth.