“The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us.”
Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.
So I feel like I should start this review off with a disclaimer. Not that this is a review copy (it is, and I feel very lucky to have received one), but that Mary Kubica is one of my favourite authors and, in my eyes, she doesn’t do much wrong in the way of writing great novels that keep me hooked from start to finish. This book, then, has been one I’ve been looking forward to reading all year…and I am so, so, pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed.
It starts with a seemingly perfect – if tired – family; Nick, Clara, four year old Maisie and new born Felix. They are young, happy and successful thanks to Nick’s dental practice. When a policeman’s knock on the door shatters Clara’s world then, it’s no wonder she struggles to cope, shutting out those who love and care for her and cocooning herself away with Maisie and Felix.
Then, Maisie starts to have nightmares and everything Clara thought she knew about the accident seems to get turned on its head. It’s not just the accident, though, it’s Nick himself. Slowly, as she tries to pick up her life, Clara finds out that what she thought she knew about her husband wasn’t true, that there were things he was keeping from her, secrets she is only now starting to try and unpick, ones that have the potential to shatter her world again.
Slowly, through Clara’s voice in the present and Nick’s as he recounts the months up until his death, you start to get a picture of who they areas people and just what secrets are buried beneath a seemingly perfect surface. It’s not all pretty, some of it is stupid, some of it is sad. A lot of it seems avoidable. As I read on, I realised that I had started to care for Clara and Nick as characters as each twist left me a little shocked, stunned or bereft.
The twists also left me wondering just what was going on. I really had no idea if Nick was indeed the victim of foul play or, as the police insisted, just a man who drove too fast round a narrow bend. When I finally made it to the end I felt as exhausted as Clara – it had been quite a ride. Was it the ending I was expecting? No. Was it the right ending? Yes. I have to say I finished the book completely satisfied with where I ended up. For once, even the epilogue didn’t bother me (my over pet peeve).
It all leaves me saying that I loved this book and would recommend it wholeheartedly.
Note: I received this book in return for a fair and honest review; all thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.