CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45
Author: Lisa Unger
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Park Row Books
Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Unger returns with her best novel yet. Reminiscent of the classic Strangers on a Train, Confessions on the 7:45 is a riveting psychological thriller that begins with a chance encounter on a commuter train and shows why you should never, ever make conversation with strangers.
Be careful who you tell your darkest secrets…
Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.
But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.
Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.
Expertly plotted and reminiscent of the timeless classic Strangers on a Train, Confessions on the 7:45 is a stunning web of lies and deceit, and a gripping thriller about the delicate facades we create around our lives.
This is a very enthralling and well plotted out book but, unfortunately, it didn’t quite reach my expectations. The story was bogged down by a lot of preachy societal commentary about how people falsely present themselves on Instagram, toxic men, well, really, just men in general. While all of that can definitely be true at times, I didn’t appreciate how much it took over the story. It felt like anytime the story really got going the plot was paused to add in more unnecessary commentary. I love when mystery/thrillers have multiple narrators but another aspect of this story that dragged it down was when we inexplicably got more viewpoints. The only thing that they seemed to add was to the author’s commentary and not much plot wise. I feel like this book could have been streamlined to make the pacing faster and everything feel more immediate.
The book starts with four main narrators and I really connected with Anne. She is such a complex, shifty character and I really appreciated what she brought to the story. Another character that I mostly enjoyed was Serena, although she had major moments where I just wanted to shake her. Serena reminds me a lot of the characters that I used to read a lot of back 5-6 years ago. Where the woman is such a mess and makes excuses for her life instead of just owning that her choices put her where she is.
However, despite all that, I found the story so captivating that I read this book in about 24 hours. The plot was predictable but I still really enjoyed seeing everything come together. I also really enjoyed the ending and Unger wrapped things up perfectly. If you love domestic thrillers then I think this book could be one that you really enjoy. I know that there were aspects of this story that I didn’t like but there was also something about that kept me engaged and thinking about it. So, for that reason, I will be trying some of Unger’s backlist to see if I fare any better with those stories.
Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels, including CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 (Oct. 2020). With millions of readers worldwide and books published in twenty-six languages, Unger is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Her critically acclaimed books have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, IndieBound and others. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.
Author Website: https://lisaunger.com/