Hera Books | August 2020
Lucy is a probation officer and her profession enables her to interact with various kinds of prisoners. Lucy has some problems with one of them, though - a young sex offender called Simon Gould, and he is on a trial for an early release although Lucy doesn't support his release. Simon has a way of playing mind games with her and as much as Lucy doesn't want to admit, in truth he terrifies her.
Lucy's best friend, Emma, knew all about the dynamics working as a probation officer. After all, she and Lucy met six months before at a Personal Development for Probation Staff conference and they've clicked from there. On one occasion when Lucy and Emma are drinking at a bar, they meet a psychologist named Paul Webb. Sparks fly between Lucy and Paul and soon they are in a relationship. Things are going on well until their whirlwind romance culminates in marriage, which surprised Lucy herself. Suddenly, Paul is like a changed man. No longer the sweet and understanding man, he becomes secretive and worst of all, wants to control Lucy's life.
It is also at this time that Lucy finds herself being harassed by Simon's phone calls, or someone leaving a stalk of rose at the front of their house. But when Lucy reported these to her superior, it becomes clear to them that Lucy is too stressed for the job, and that Simon has never left the facility. Back at home, Lucy continues to live in fear under Paul's control until she finds stacks of old photographs of a young woman in Paul's drawer and began to question about his past.
Intense-wise, this book checks the box and I was intrigued by the dynamic between Lucy and Paul. The author has done a good job in portraying their characteristics as well as their credibility, for my choice kept switching back and forth between these two characters (is Lucy sane, or does Paul has something to hide?)
While the startup of this convoluted psychological thriller turns out strong and well, I felt the ending was a bit rushed and there are some loose ends which aren't fully explained. For example, what happened to Simon Gould since he was a terror to Lucy? And perhaps it's me, but I didn't fully grasp the meaning of the last few pages although I think it might be the author's intention of putting it that way. Overall, it was a decent read and the intrigue had kept most of my interest.
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