Blurb: The last people who expect to be meeting with a drug-addicted prostitute are a respected judge and his reclusive wife. And they certainly don’t plan to kill her and bury her in their exquisite suburban garden.
Yet Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons find themselves in this unfortunate situation.
While Lydia does all she can to protect their innocent son Laurence and their social standing, her husband begins to falls apart.
But Laurence is not as naïve as Lydia thinks. And his obsession with the dead girl’s family may be the undoing of his own.
My Rating: 5/5
Review: I loved the blurb for this book straight off, it sounded so different from the other books I’d been reading at the time so I was quite intrigued and keen to read it. I’ve seen comments, there’s one on the book cover itself, about this being ideal for fans of Gone Girl and I will say right now, I’ve no idea if it is or not. I’ve not read Gone Girl, it never appealed to me and this is also the first book I’ve read by this author so it really was a leap in the dark when I started reading it.
This book was amazing, I finished it one night at 2am and was still awake an hour later because of it! It starts off quite shockingly with two perfectly respectable people involved in a murder, quite by accident but still involved. After that the dead girl’s family start to realise something has happened to her and an investigation is launched and then it gets really interesting. Lydia Fitzsimons is obsessed with her social status even though she rarely leaves the house, to her the right house, right clothes, friends, appearances are everything and she refuses to let that go despite the fact that there is now a dead body buried in her garden. As the story progresses Lydia’s own story unfolds and we learn more about her past and see how manipulative and cold-hearted she can be. There was a part in the book where things settled a little and everything was calmer for a while and then BOOM! it wasn’t and I was back on this rollercoaster of a read which had me equal parts horrified and gripped. I made comments, noises of disbelief and even laughed out loud at one part because I was hoping for some sort of payback but the book just kept on going.
I’m not naive or anything, I know about manipulation and how some people can manipulate others until they feel 2 inches tall or are doing everything they’re told regardless of what it is but this book shows just how far it can go. This is a masterclass and insight into the world of a manipulative person. They are so good at what they do that they can deceive so many others and that comes across clearly here, few can see Lydia for what she really is and that includes the reader as what she is capable of becomes clear throughout the book, we get glimpses of it but even with that, somehow it still gets worse.
The descriptions in the book are good, they are more character focused than location but that makes sense given the story and doesn’t detract from it in any way. I wouldn’t necessarily say I liked the characters, some were impossible to like but I did feel the most connected to Laurence and what he was going through throughout the story. While I didn’t agree with everything he said and did I did understand his reasons for it all and that, for me, is important. Even though I disagreed with almost all of them I could even, up to a point, understand Lydia’s reasons for doing what she did.
I’ve been struggling to finish books recently, novellas have been manageable but full length books were tricky. Unsurprisingly with this one I had no such trouble, I read it in two sittings and was so hooked during the first one that I nearly stayed up all night to finish it off. I think this is an excellent read and one I would highly recommend though I would suggest not starting it at night unless you don’t mind still being awake when the sun rises the next morning.