My Rating 3 / 5
I’m very torn by this book. I read a couple of reviews before I started reading and it was billed very much as an atmospheric thriller. That it is.
It is also very creepy and frankly odd. The story follows Sonia who develops an obsession with her friends nephew, Jez. She keeps Jez against his will and the story begins to unpick Sonia’s history.
She’s clearly a troubled woman, and much focus is given to her relationship as a child with Seb. I have to say I worked out the Seb ‘twist’ early on (there was a scene that gave it away for me) but I think many readers will gloss over the hint and not realise until the end. The book unpicks the many dysfunctional relationships that Sonia has, be it with Seb, her daughter Kit or her husband and friends. However the book doesn’t really examine the root cause of the dysfunction.
I found the relationship with her husband the oddest. There didn’t seem to be much evidence or reason as to why he still wants her, despite her behaviour and complete disinterest. I guess perhaps there was a control element that he later lost when he seeks to persuade her to sell the River House. I’m not sure.
The ending was deeply unsatisfying, you’re not left entirely sure what the outcome was for both Jez and Sonia.
I always think the test of a good book is whether you would want to read a book by the author again. I’m just not sure. I didn’t even bother to read the taster at the back of this book for Hancock’s next novel