Publication Date: June 25, 2020
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Genre: Mystery, Domestic, Psychological
This twisted story is a master class in an unreliable narrator and gaslighting. Lucy Harper is a bestselling author of a detective series who has a devastating past. When Lucy was younger her little brother went missing and since she was the last one with him the police made her the center of their investigation. However, Lucy’s imaginary friend, Eliza, was there to make sure that Lucy kept some of their secrets and her brother was never found. Lucy is now married to Dan and while she has been keeping secrets from him it turns out that he has been keeping some from her too.
This book is very much a character centered mystery and most of the drama is related to Lucy’s inner monologue with Eliza or with Lucy’s reactions to events. There was a lot that I loved about this book including how our main character is an author and the behind the scenes look into that kind fo life. I have never thought about how taxing it is to be an author and just how deeply it affects their lives. I also loved that because of Eliza we are never quite sure if Lucy is fully gripped in reality or in her head. I also enjoyed that because Dan and Lucy live on a small private road that the mystery felt like it had a locked room trope which is my favorite. I do want to give some trigger warnings for emotional abuse and the many instances of gaslighting in this book can be a lot to deal with.
Unfortunately, despite how much I was loving this book the ending was a major let down. There are two big mysteries in this story and both had very underwhelming conclusions. I was actually angry at this book after I finished it because it had the potential to be a five star and I felt like I had been duped by what the author did at the end. I don’t know if other people had such a strong reaction as I did but it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Since this is such a character heavy mystery I would only recommend this to someone who is a character driven reader. Although, to be honest, I’m not sure if I would recommend this book at all since I really didn’t care for the ending. I guess if you are a lover of mysteries and are intrigued by the idea of an unreliable narrator and aren’t put off by a possible bad ending then you should pick it up. The writing was really well done and I definitely plan to read more Macmillan in the future.