Author: Chevy Stevens
Published: March 14, 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Psychological Suspense / Domestic Thriller
Hardcover: 406 pages
My Rating: 2 1/2 stars
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Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash and her daughter Sophie fled from an emotionally abusive husband in the middle of the night. Fast forward to when Andrew is being released from prison on a different charge, and Lindsey and Sophie have built a peaceful life for themselves. But someone is leaving gifts on the windshield, moving items around in the house, and attempting to poison the family dog. The obvious suspect of course would be the ex-husband, but this wouldn’t be psychological suspense without a few curve balls.
This story is told in three parts. Part one alternates between present and various stages of their marriage, so you can see their history and the gradual building of the abuse and the tactics Andrew would use to manipulate Lindsey. Part two alternates between Sophie as a teenager getting to know her dad and rebuilding their relationship, and Lindsey. Sophie is sneaking around behind her mother’s back in order to see her dad and the alternating perspectives is done to great affect. Sophie sees her father in a completely different light than her mother, so as a reader, you’re trying to reconcile the two different perspectives. Is he the monster that Lindsey makes him out to be, or has he really changed? You only see Andrew through the eyes of these two women, who have vastly different viewpoints of him. Part three fast-forwards a few months when the plot really heats up.
As wonderful as this all sounds, I found the book to be rather slow-paced. The last 50 pages are really good, but there are 350 other pages in the book that moved a little too slowly for me. It is more of a character study on the inner workings of an emotionally abusive relationship. There are not a lot of characters, so as far as the mysterious gift on the windshield and so forth, the list of suspects is short. By the time I got to the last 50 pages, I almost didn’t care anymore.