When twenty-something Maggie Barnes moved to London, it was for a fresh start, to get away from a bad relationship and make something of herself – just like her oh-so-perfect sister.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as she planned. Instead, she found herself in a small, grotty, flat with a minimum-wage job and no friends (bar seven twitter followers she doesn’t even know).
It’s no wonder then, that she jumps at the chance of doing something just a bit different – working with the security services to spy on her employer. She has, they say, the perfect cover – no one will look at her twice.
If it all sounds a bit far-fetched, it just might be. It’s hard for me to say more, however, without spoilers – making it a hard review to write too. What I can say is what’s in the blurb – after what is described as a life-or-death mission, Maggie goes missing…and no one seems to notice.
The problem with the blurb is it doesn’t really describe the book, and I have a feeling from some of the reviews on Goodreads, that people haven’t – therefore – gotten what they expected, especially his fans. Which is a shame. Because this is a highly enjoyable novel. You don’t have to waste much brain power on it, I will admit, but that’s not always the type of book I want to read.
I’ve never read any books by Herron before and I think he has a good writing style and, in This is What Happened, he’s created three interesting and somewhat baffling characters, all of whom are just a little bit lost – which explains how what seems like a simple situation at the beginning, can get so messy so quickly. Apparently it’s based on a true situation and is an apology of sorts to the real Maggie. I hope she has forgiven him.
About the book…
Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Barnes is someone you would never look at twice. Living alone in a month-to-month sublet in the huge city of London, with no family but an estranged sister, no boyfriend or partner, and not much in the way of friends, Maggie is just the kind of person who could vanish from the face of the earth without anyone taking notice
Or just the kind of person MI5 needs to infiltrate the establishment and thwart an international plot that puts all of Britain at risk
Now one young woman has the chance to be a hero—if she can think quickly enough to stay alive.
Publisher: John Murray Press
Publication Date: 7th June, 2018
Genre: Crime fiction, suspense, thriller
Number of pages: 256
Rating: 4 out of 5
Find on: Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.
I love the sound of this one! We all sometimes feel invisible, so we can relate to the character…I think. LOL
Thanks for sharing…and now I must check this one out.
I hope you enjoy it. Having lived in London, I could completely relate to Maggie feeling lost x
There must be something in the water! I picked up a book the other day which was more or less unrecognisable from the blurb… Well done on writing a tricky review, Emma:)
I don’t know why publishers do it – I think it just raises wrong expectations!
Ugh – misleading blurb syndrome is the worst! I must say the premise as you’ve laid it out sounds intriguing…
Isn’t it. I know publishers need to build tension but this way bad reviews lie is my belief!