Woo boy was this book a roller coaster. My family and friends know that I scare easily which is one of the reasons I don’t like horror movies. It’s also one of the reasons I sometimes have to stop reading a book when the sun sets and the shadows start to look like creepy things haha! This was one of those books. As much as I loved it and wanted to keep reading, I had to put it down at night and switch to something more light hearted to ensure I would be able to sleep at night. Part mystery, part psychological thriller, this book kept me guessing until the very end and I highly recommend it for fans of chilling suspense novels.
From Goodreads: In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.
One day Lena manages to flee–but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called “Lena,” who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn’t quite seem to fit.
Most books of this nature, psychological thrillers where the reader is only given small clues throughout the book, there will be an unreliable narrator. This is a common way for the author to keep the reader guessing and it’s revealed early on that this character is someone that can’t be trusted to tell the entire truth. We can’t trust this person therefore we have to take everything they say with some degree of doubt or skepticism. Well….this book has three narrators and they all have something to hide. Lena, the woman taken to the hospital who may or may not be the girl who has been missing for 13 years. Hannah, the little girl found with Lena at the time of the accident. And Mattias, Lena’s dad. From the very beginning, we know they are all hiding something but we don’t know what or why or if their intentions are good or bad. I’m not going to lie-this mystery had me completely stumped. Just when I thought I had a piece of the puzzle figured out I was wrong and when I thought the story was going a certain way it swerved. Then, when I thought I had the bad guy figured out, I was completely off base. It’s a testament to Romy’s storytelling abilities that that she was able to take a plot that could have been tired and over used and managed to breathe fresh life into it. Every character, every aspect of this book had me guessing and on edge. My fear while reading was that the ending would fall flat (as so many mysteries do) and not satisfy but I was happy with not only the reveal of the bad guy but the conclusion to the various storylines Romy introduced along the way. There is the “bad guy reveals his nefarious plot” scene that most mysteries can’t seem to get away from but it fit better here than in most others I have read so I didn’t mind it as much. Overall, I was happy with the way things wrapped up. I can’t/won’t reveal anymore because to do so would give away the plot and so much of this book relies on not knowing anything more.
This book was not at all what I expected in the best way. I would recommend to fans of mysteries but only to those who like psychological thrillers and who can handle gore and some intense scenes as well as some potentially sad moments. This book isn’t for the faint of heart nor for those looking for a light mystery. But for those who like suspense, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Favorite Quote: “Happiness feels warm, almost like a slight fever; it has a smell and a heartbeat that goes like the second hand on the kitchen clock.”
Author: Romy Hausmann
Published: October 6, 2020
Rating: 5 Stars