What if the next novel you picked up turned out to be about you? That intriguing and scary prospect is the hook for this novel. And, when it has hooked you, it tells an interesting story, but delivers quite a mixed experience for the reader.
The central character is Catherine Ravenscroft. She picks up a novel – The Perfect Stranger – and is shocked to find it is a telling of a part of her life she had long kept secret. From there, we are given the story in alternating perspectives, and with some jumping back and forwards in time, until the various strands collide in the final pages.
I will avoid any plot spoilers, but really that is all you need to know.
On the plus side, as well as the clever hook, there are moments when the writing carries you along in the rush to get to the truth. The characters have a lot of potential, but I’m unsure whether they come across as being believable or authentic human beings.
On the not so plus side, the plot requires you to suspend disbelief more than should be necessary, and the writing is patchy in places. In fairness, this could be the result of sloppy editing, but the general impression is that the book does not flow as well as it should (or as I expected) and could have been that much sharper.
The hype does the book no favors. It’s not that good. It’s entertaining enough, and sometimes thoughtful, but also sometimes disappointing. Worth reading? Probably.