I’m a real fan of Lisa Jewell’s books, and this one didn’t let me down. She has a way of writing that’s easy to read, with plenty of exciting action and intriguing storylines. The book is written with short chapters and plenty of cliffhangers; I had difficulty putting the book down at times.
Lily has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night, she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one.
Alice finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgment, she invites him into her home. But who is he, and how can she trust a man who has lost his memory?
Alice’s story starts when she comes across a man on the beach who appears to have lost his memory. She generously offers him her outdoor studio as her home is already run over with kids and dogs. Alice is a single mum with some peculiarities, and many exes for each of her children. Even though she struggles, I found her imperfections make her much more genuine and deserving of a happy ending.
Alice’s connection with ‘Frank’ (a pseudonym since his identity is a total mystery) captivates her, and as the readers, we cannot help but root for their relationship to blossom. But at the same time, suspicion lingers beneath the surface of Frank’s mysterious past.
Intermixed with Alice and Lily’s narratives are sections going back twenty years that add a growing tension to the plotline, pushing the timelines closer and closer together.
I had no problem picturing each character in my mind and found them to be captivating, realistic, and enjoyable. They were well-developed and contrasted well. The antagonist reveals himself in the backstory from some twenty years ago and is everything a villain should be: obsessed, deranged, calculating and corrupt.
Why not 5 stars?
I gave this book 4 stars (or 4.5 if Amazon permitted) since I only award five if a book really knocks my socks off, which this didn’t quite do. Furthermore, I noticed moments that were a little implausible and was able to correctly guess the ending – which is always disappointing! Additionally, the timeline and character jumps confused me at times but that could just be old age!
Although some people may find the beginning of this book a little slow off the starting blocks, I would urge them to persevere. The narrative quickly morphs into an intriguing and captivating mystery novel that keeps you on your toes. It satisfies all the criteria for a great thriller!