Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: March 2016
Format: Paperback, 320 pgs
This story is basically about multiple identities, secrets, deceits and of course murders often go alongside with them when thrillers are concerned. Thrown in with one or two unreliable characters and The Passenger would have you turning the pages quickly if you are a fan of those mentioned above.
It all started when Tanya Dubois's husband, Frank, is dead. She'd found him at the bottom of the stairs and assumed he had fell down on his own after he'd suffered a few cases of vertigo lately. She'd tried resuscitating him but knew he's a goner. She claims she has no alibi and that we readers have to take her word for it. She has an affair with her chiropractor during her marriage to Frank and although her relationship with Frank is simply so-so, at least she finds some life and some financial security (even if it isn't much) being with him.
What happens next is a series of events where we see Tanya on the run; changing her names and shedding her identities as she travels from places to places. At this stage, the reader would assume that Tanya is guilty but yet there isn't evidence to convict her as being guilty. In fact, at some point the reader would start to wonder if she's fallen prey to a cleverer deceiver, who has taken her in when Tanya is in trouble. To make things complicated (and not to mention intense), she also gets acquainted with a man whom she later finds out is a cop. What is her chances of being a free woman again? Is she truly a murderer or not?
Well, I've to say The Passenger took me by surprise throughout my reading journey. The first three quarters of the book intrigued me due to Tanya's methods and reasons for changing her identities and her facial appearances as she runs from one state to another. Sometimes her reasons were deemed to be paranoia but other times they were horrifying that I began to wonder about Tanya; which is the whole point of this story. At times I pitied her and then I would find myself changing my mind after reading a few more chapters. It was quite an emotional ride in a way but yet also a dilemmatic one, too; in which you ended up asking more questions than having answers. I was sure I felt lukewarm about the plot until I got to the end, which had left me quite surprised and above all, had me wondering about a few things. Overall it was a compelling read but to readers who are going for a more action-packed thriller this might seem a bit disappointing.