The year has got off to a flying start and January has been seriously good book wise, for both books released and books I’ve read. I’ve managed to read 11 books this month, a mix of books I have bought and advanced review copies I have received. So here is January’s reads….
- Witness by Caroline Mitchell
- Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
- Evil Games by Angela Marshall
- A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer
- Beautiful Liar by Louise Mullins
- Rattle by Fiona Cummins
- Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
- Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent
- The One by John Marrs
- The Trophy Child by Paula Daly
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
I have really enjoyed all books I have read and I found it difficult to narrow it down to one book for book of the month but I have decided…dum dum dum…..Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson was Book of the Month for January.
I just could not get enough of this creepy and atmospheric mystery that masterfully combines the styles of Patricia Highsmith and Alfred Hitchcock.
“Following a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncharacteristically bold decision after her cousin, Corbin Dell, suggests a temporary apartment swap – and she moves from London to Boston.
But soon after her arrival Kate makes a shocking discovery: Corbin’s next-door neighbour, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police begin asking questions about Corbin’s relationship with Audrey, and his neighbours come forward with their own suspicions, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own.
Jet lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination playing out her every fear, Kate can barely trust herself. So how can she trust any of the strangers she’s just met?”
I absolutely loved this book! I sunk into this beautifully dark and atmospheric story immediately, and felt like I was watching an old Alfred Hitchcock film play out in front of my eyes. This mystery set in Boston was one of the most macabre and suspenseful reads I’ve had in a long time. Peter Swanson’s previous novel The Kind Worth Killing left quite an impression on me so I was eager to devour this one as soon as I received a copy.
Our main protagonist Kate suffers from crippling anxiety and paranoia, compounded by a traumatic event involving her ex-boyfriend. Kate looking for a calm place to re-adjust agrees to the flat swap with a cousin she has never even met. Her new plush Boston apartment is dreamy. Spacious and stylish Kate thinks her luck might have changed, then her next door neighbour’s body is found and Kate can’t shake the feeling that haunting feeling that something is about to go terribly wrong.
I was taken by the character Kate straight away, I got into her head and she got into mine till I couldn’t tell where Kate ended and I began. I felt her every fear, her every anxiety and imagined her every thought. Was she a paranoid unreliable narrator, or were the sinister goings on real? The story was not narrated exclusively by Kate, there were the points of view of other main characters, sometimes recounting the same event but with very different interpretations. Her neighbour on the opposite side of the building Alan, who had an obsession with watching the murdered woman Audrey through the window, in true Rear Window fashion, and that of Corbin her cousin. As the story progresses both characters become suspects in the murder. The reader cannot decide who the guilty party is, and I found myself changing my mind many times.
I adore stories set in New England, a place I would love to visit one day, so Her Every Fear being in Boston only intensified the hold this book had over me. I wanted to be there sitting with them in the Irish American bars drinking cocktails and eating lobster rolls, I wanted to smell the salty air, and look across the Boston skyline whilst sipping champagne in Kate’s luxurious apartment. This book is quite hypnotic.
The plot is carefully thought out to the last detail, well crafted, and moved at a steady pace. The prose is written in such a suspenseful way I could not help but have a tight feeling of unease creep over me, feeling myself jumping at every little noise in the house. If you are feeling slightly nervous do not read this in the house alone!
Overall rating five stars, I want to read this all over again to savour every eerie and sinister moment.
Other notable books released this month I loved (however received an advanced copy so read sometime last year) are:
- Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
- Her Husband’s Lover by Julia Crouch
- Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
All these three are absolute MUST haves! Read my reviews for them here: