If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…
I lie very still, my senses sharpening as the seconds tick by, my breathing becoming shallower, my body tensing. And when I can bear it no longer, I snap my eyes open, expecting to see him looming over me with a knife in his hand, my heart beating so hard I can hear it thudding in my chest. But there is no one there and when I turn my head towards the window, there is no one there either.
Whilst driving home from a night out, Cass decides to take a short cut through the wood. On her way she encounters a car in a lay-by, she slows down but a storm has blown in and she’s alone, and when the person in the car makes no move to ask for her assistance she drives off. She forgets about the incident until the news breaks that the woman in the car has been found murdered.
The guilt that she feels for not stopping starts to eat away at her, driving her to distraction, making her forgetful. But the little lapses start to turn into bigger ones, made worse by the sudden onslaught of silent calls that she starts to believe are from the murderer. She is convinced that she will be next but with her mind becoming more and more unreliable no one is willing to listen.
This was a hard one for me; whilst I haven’t read anything else from the author I had heard a lot of good things from other bloggers about her first book, so when I had the opportunity to read it I, of course, went for it. I don’t know if it’s that I went into this with unrealistically high hopes but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
The storyline was clever and I certainly appreciated its originality, but I had a bit of an inkling as to what direction the story was going to take. Whilst I didn’t predict everything that happened I was fairly close and with any book in this genre not being proved wrong does kind of deflate the read a little.
It was a very well written book and the depiction of Cass’s memory failing her was tremendous, how she could be so adamant, seem so unreasonable and then realize that she is becoming a nightmare and questioning herself and her sanity. It was very realistic and she is the epitome of an unreliable narrator, however there were parts of her behaviour connected to the guilt that she felt over the murder that I just found a bit unreasonable and frankly became annoying.
I don’t want to go too much into detail as to why because I couldn’t do it without spoiling it for other readers, but I feel that for me this meant I couldn’t really empathize with Cass so I couldn’t really get invested in her. Which is a shame because I really wanted to feel that for her, I think it’s a testament to the authors writing that even though I couldn’t gel with her she was written in such a way that I felt that I should have.
I certainly wanted to find out what had happened and after a certain point in the story I couldn’t put the book down but I didn’t feel like the reveal left me stunned. I would still recommend this book because I think there will be people out there that will love it and it is definitely worth picking up. Even though this book didn’t entirely click with me I know I’ll be looking out for more work from this author in the future.
Thank you to HQ and Netgalley for the review copy of this book.