I don’t get much contemporary American fiction coming my way so it was interesting to have the latest Peter Swanson to review. I had some preconceptions because of the inevitable hype around this book but found myself enjoying it a lot more than I expected.
Kate Priddy agrees to a six month house swap with Corbin Dell, a second cousin that she has never actually met. Exchanging her tiny little North London flat for a huge apartment in a nice suburb of Boston sounds like a great deal. Soon after she arrives she discovers that Corbin’s next door neighbour Audrey Marshall has been murdered. As the police start to investigate Kate can’t help them much as she doesn’t know Corbin at all.
As she gets to know the other neighbours she realises that he has lied to her when she said that he barely knew Audrey. Struggling with jetlag and her own paranoia Kate doesn’t know where to turn and who to trust. All she is sure of is that nothing is exactly as it seems. Kate has her own demons – literally – and the pressure of the situation makes her feel like everything is falling apart. The ghost of George looms large and all of her fears are about to be realised again.
Three stars seems a little harsh but four may be a bit too generous. It’s a good story with an interesting twist but it wasn’t really the story that I was expecting it to be. About halfway in, the book becomes something very different and akin to an episode of Criminal Minds rather than the story it had previously been. More like Miss Marple gets taken over by Hannibal Lecter. I found the ending to be a bit unsatisfying but that might just be me.
Supplied by Net Galley and Faber & Faber in exchange for an honest review.
UK publication date: Jan 10 2017. 352 pages.