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… (Goodreads)
This is a fast-paced, gripping, and compelling read. This book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time while I was reading it and I literally gobbled this book up in two days. It was quite a ride.
I really, really enjoyed this book.
This book is simply delightful and glorious for its entire package; the writing is strong and captivating, and the characters are well-drawn, especially the main character, Cass was wonderful; I didn’t get to relate to her for the most part, but reading how she confronts her own fears and develops herself into a stronger, calm and collected woman in the end was such a delightful experience.
And most importantly, the plot. This is what I found the most striking and engaging, and what entertained me the most. It was pretty unputdownable once I picked it up and I couldn’t wait to see how the story develops and how and where Cass ends up.
That said though, there’s not much murder investigation going on in this book; it’s quite slow-paced, if any, and I personally saw this book as more like an introspective and psychological thriller that depicts a woman who is slowly sent into a state of insanity and paranoia.
As the synopsis suggests, Cass runs into a woman who seems to be stranded in a downpour and attempts to help her out. But the woman doesn’t show any signs of distress, Cass decides to drive on and check in with the police from home to make sure she will be fine. But once she gets home, she forgets all about it and then she finds out that the woman was brutally murdered the next day.
From then onwards, she torments herself over the sense of guilt, blaming herself for what she could have done but she actually didn’t and starts to feel she’s partially responsible for the woman’s death. The constant sense of guilt and the fact she lied to her husband for having taken the shortcut he specifically told her not to, combined with the problems with her short-time memory start to plague her and gnaw at her sanity, slowly driving her into a mental breakdown.
This gradual torment and Cass’s inner struggles and fears are brilliantly executed and left a big impact on me. It was compelling, emotionally evocative, and gripping. As I said earlier, I initially couldn’t relate to Cass for not coming forward and confess what she saw that night, and for keeping telling fibs to cover things up and protect her self-esteem (that frustrated me the most, by the way), but witnessing how she loses confidence in her memory and how her constant fear – the murderer is coming after her – gradually poisons her mind and drives her into madness was really suspenseful. Enhanced by its strong writing, this book had me guessing and wondering what will happen to Cass throughout the book.
The plot-twist that comes in the last 25% was something I got to partially predict, but what caught me by surprise. This is also where the story really picks up and gets exhilarating to read through. The narration formats that are employed here are also clever and smart. Flashing back and forth between the two-time frames and the formats, I got to feel with my heart that Cass and I are getting closer to the truth, getting down to the bottom of the whole thing.
The only issue that I had was the ending. The murder itself and the problems that tormented Cass are solved in the end, yet I wanted a distinct ‘closure,’ to this book. The ending felt a bit anticlimactic and rushed, it could have been better had it have an Epilogue that depicts how Cass moves on with her life and how she copes with the aftermath of the incident.
That was the only complaint that I had with this book. Other than that, it was quite a satisfying, suspenseful, and entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
If you are into psychological thrillers that keep you guessing and on pins and needles, I highly recommend picking this up. This is a brilliantly written, glorious read.
I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Thank you, NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my unbiased, and honest review.