Wow. Ok. I have literally just finished this book and feel the need to review this right away!
This book starts slowly. It took a little while until I was gripped by the story, and then it begins to trip along quite nicely, developing into a pretty good mystery at a steady pace. And then …. WHOAH NELLY!!! It took my breath away! I had to put the book down, pick it up, re-read a section, put it down … I did NOT see that coming! Oh. My. Goodness. Don’t you just love it when a book surprises you?!
The story plays with your emotions. At first you feel sadness and pity, then you feel anger, then you feel empathy, anger again, all with a background tension that builds up and up until BLAM! You’ve finished the book and you can’t quite believe you’ve come to the end.
And besides the whole mystery/thriller/psychological thing, the descriptions of the remote cottage near a little beach with crashing waves … well, it had me looking on rightmoves for properties, I can tell you! Please don’t tell me I’m alone in sometimes fantasising about leaving everything behdin and running off to a little cottage near a lonely beach … just me? … Ok then, moving swiftly on!
This is one of those books that make you wonder how the author does it. How does someone get inside the mind of a complete psycho so much so that they are able to portray them so convincingly like this? I think the answer in this case is that Clare Mackintosh has experience as a police officer, and so her research is extensive and meaningful. But strangely it is her portrayal of the police officers that irritated me and caused me to mark the book down a star. DI Stevens seems a bit pathetic and weak, his relationship with Kate felt teenagerish and cliched and it seemed entirely unnecessary to the plot.
Despite this last point, this is a fabulous read, far surpassing the likes of Gone Girl and Girl on a Train in my opinion, and one I will be foisting upon all and sundry!