William Morrow | April 2018 | 304 pgs
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Having read Peter Swanson's previous novels (The Kind Worth Killing and Her Every Fear) and enjoyed them, I was thrilled when I learned that he has a new book coming out. His latest work revolves around lies, obsessions and taboo relationships and although it was an easy, fast-paced read, it somewhat lacks the punch of his previous works, which I found brilliant and kept me on edge. 

This story is written in two time frames "Then" and "Now" alternatively and at times it reads like a coming of age as it centers around a woman named Alice, as we read about her teenage years and how she has grown up to be an attractive woman with dark motives. All the while, she has had a fondness with older men partly due to an unhappy adolescence. Her relationship with her mother is lukewarm and her attraction to older men only began with her mother's remarriage to Jake. This is simply one of the "Then" segments and I figured I should skip whatever transpired thereafter to avoid spoilers. 

Onto the "Now" segment, Alice has found her man in Bill Ackerson and thought she would live a happily-ever-after but that bliss is short-lived as Bill is believed to have committed suicide. Bill's son, Harry, is due to attend his college graduation ceremony and he rushes home upon receiving Alice's call. Harry has always thought his stepmother sexy and beautiful and it seems Bill's death has kind of bring them together as they lend support to each other and try to find out what had happened to the man in their life. Enter Grace McGowan, who is mysterious and alluring in her own way and she has aroused Harry's interest and curiosity. Who is this young woman and why does she seem to appear in their range right after Bill's death? 

As much as I enjoyed this story, I felt this was something different from his other works. The characters are intriguing but they failed to captivate me, no matter if it's secretive Alice or even young innocent Harry. Then of course there is the taboo relationships which is part of the plot, which I suppose may either raise a few eyebrows or be intrigued by the complexity and bizarreness of it. The suspense is fairly predictable at some point, and the ending seemed a bit too abrupt and convenient to me. Nevertheless, it was a readable story and Peter Swanson's writing sucks you in. I'm currently reading his first book, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart and I'm enjoying it so far. 

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12 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    Hmm. Think I'll give this one a pass. Let us know how The Girl with a Clock for a Heart works for you!

  2. Kay Says:

    You know, I've been afraid of exactly what you said. I know I wrote a 'can't wait' post about this book, but as I considered what the blurb revealed I was a bit dismayed. I loved the previous two books of his, but I also like the idea that they were sort of updated Hitchcock themes. Don't think this one is. I'll watch for what you think of his first book, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart. I own that one too. Do you think that sometimes we get our hope up too high? Hmmm...

  3. Jenny Says:

    Isn’t it weird when one author’s book just doesn’t seem like their others? Sorry it was a little off.

  4. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is quite an intriguing read. I can't wait to find out the end!

  5. Melody Says:

    Kay - I was quite disappointed with this one, considering I'd been anticipated for his new release ever since I'd heard news about it. Alas, I also know that not all of our favourite authors' books work out. And yeah, I think expectations somewhat play a part, too. ;)

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenny - I appreciate authors who write something different from their usual themes, however some work while others don't. I suppose it's all up to individual's reading preference. :)

  7. The Bookworm Says:

    It sounds like you enjoyed it overall, even with the minor issues you mentioned. I like a good thriller and when the author pushes the envelope a little bit too.
    Great post!

  8. Melody Says:

    Naida - It was an intriguing read but not as good as his other books, though. I wonder what's in store with his next book.

  9. Iliana Says:

    While it may not have been as good as his other books at least it sounds like it was still a good read. I've only read one of his books but have the others on my list to read!

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I like most of Peter Swanson's books but this one just seemed a little different from the others. That said, I look forward to his next release as I like his writing style. :)

  11. Lark Says:

    Sorry this one didn't exceed your expectations of being a good read. I think I'll skip this one.

  12. Melody Says:

    Lark - Perhaps I'd expected too much from this book considering I enjoyed so much of his other two books. I hope his next book will be better.

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