This is fascinating psychological mystery/drama more than a thriller. It’s about the real wild animals wearing human furs and acting like decent people! It’s about prejudiced approach and point of views we show when we see someone weird, different and outcast! As you spend your time to smear someone’s live and ruin him/her with your hypocritical opinions, the real monsters start to walk among you and hurt your loved ones before your eyes! Truth may be out there but we may be so blind to see it!
This is another surprising, riveting, exciting, fast pacing, ready to be devoured at one sit book! But it is also thought provoking, stunningly twisty and surprising story about abuse, womanizing, rape, sexual assault. It’s really dark and irritating. As you finish the story and put down your kindle it still stays in your mind and continues to haunt you throughout your daily life.
We have three POVS of the story: Owen and Saffyre are my favorites because they are both complex, outcast, weird and tormented, lonely characters. And we also have Cat, mostly prying her family members’ lives, living in her head and trying to solve the mystery about missing Saffyre.
Saffyre Maddox has a big secret: something happened to her when she was 10! Someone had abused and left invisible scars at her soul! She harmed herself to deal with her bottled up anger and inner scream. He is orphan, raised by golden-hearted uncle Aaron but she cannot confess him what the boy did to her. So she starts seeing her therapist Roan Fours. She got help for three years but Roan cut her therapy sessions because he thought she was fine. But she was far from fine. She didn’t blurt out her secret slowly killing her. So she decides to stalk her therapist and sees his double life. She also decides to take the matter in her own hands, getting her own revenge.
We’re introduced Cat, Roan’s wife, mother with two children: Georgia (mostly annoying, spoiled), Josh (mother’s sweet boy), suspected her husband was having affair but her husband insisted he was not so they gave their marriage second chance. They rented a temporary place till their house’s restoration ends but she reads and hears so many assault news around the place. Someone out there is targeting women and she is afraid of her daughter’s well-being. She is overprotective, prying mother. (I understood for her reasons but mostly this character was so easily manipulated and weakest one from the trio I annoyed so much!)
Now her daughter’s close friend says she was assaulted and all the eyes turn to their neighbor’s house: which brings out our third character (if this book turns into a movie, my candidate to play Owen is Joaquin Phoenix. Owen’s character has quite resemblances with Joker and an actor who knows to empathize with the abused, outcast, persona non grata can perfectly be in the character’s shoes.) Owen Pick!
Everybody thinks something really wrong with him. He is nearly thirty three, carrying weirdo vibes like his second skin, ( weird clothes, weirder haircut and weirdest shoes define his modern style) never had a girlfriend. He never had a real friend. His mother passed away and his father had his own new family, avoiding him like plague. So he lives with his aunt who detests him and not to be kind enough to hide her feelings.
He is a teacher and he just got expelled because the girls in the school insist that he treated them inappropriately when he got drunk at the school party.
Now Saffrye is missing and everybody thinks he is the predator! He is involved with the girl’s disappearance. Did he do that? He always has blackouts when he drinks too much and he had his first date at Valentine Day’. He consumed more he could handle. But he never went too far to hurt people. But the girls in school, his neighbors, a woman he bumped into during his walk to home and his own aunt think otherwise.
So what happened to Saffrye? Did her stalking tendencies to her old therapist put her into trouble or did her rapist finally catch her? Did the suspicious man, harassing women around the neighborhood hurt her? Or did Owen get anything about her disappearance?
This is mysterious, psychological, mind numbing, impeccably crafted, provocative story with powerful conclusion. I’m giving my four stars! I adore Lisa Jewell’s works and thankfully this is so much better than her previous book. I highly recommend it to lovers of mystery books and her fans.
Special thanks to dear Ariele Fredman, Atria Books and NetGalley for sharing this one of the most anticipated thriller ARCS with me in exchange my honest review. I truly enjoyed it so much.