- Genre: Thriller
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night her family was forever altered.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents could devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue loving her.
After reading this I can say that I have way more faith I. This author than I did after reading IT ENDS WITH US. In that review, I mentioned that I found the writing juvenile, but I thought it might be a deliberate choice by the author—to write in a way that was accessible to any audience.
I think I was right because the writing is this is far from juvenile. There are moments when the prose is darkly beautiful. Furthermore, there are chapters that are “written” by Verity and chapters that are “written” by Lowen, and I had no trouble believing those chapters were written by two different authors.
However, I’m not sure this book lives up to the hype. Hear me out!
Like DAISY DARKER, this novel deals with child death, and by “deals with” child death, I mean it uses it as a plot device. Nobody is seen grieving the twins. Sure, Jeremy says he misses them, but that’s about the end of it.
Lowen is the main character. She’s also the least interesting character. She’s so uninteresting that she tells us she’s “not uncomplicated,” which is some lazy character building. Also, her main goal in the novel seems to be sleeping with a married man, which is not complicated at all, especially when she can justify her actions because his wife’s autobiography makes her sound evil. I found myself wanting to skip through her plodding chapters and get back to the despicable Verity.
Now, I realize I might be being unfair because I had high expectations for this book. I was expecting a major plot twist! I kept waiting for Jeremy to admit that he was somehow responsible for his wife’s injuries after finding her journal and the whole thing had been a ploy to get Lowen to the house because he liked her writing or something. Or maybe Lowen wrote the journal and pretended to find it in order to trick Jeremy…but no. The twist was that Verity is evil, which was obvious from the start.
Overall, I see why people liked this. It was shocking, the suspense was well-built, and there are several explicit scenes. However, it’s not on my list of favorite suspense/thriller novels.