“Every marriage has its secrets.”
When Aaron’s wife, Allison, dies his grief is soon overtaken by stumbling across a huge secret she’s been keeping. At first he assumes – understandably – that it was an affair, but when it turns out that she was investigating murders of teenage girls, it’s not long before his need to find out what she was doing turns into his own obsession with tracking down a possible serial killer. And the more he digs, the darker the secrets he uncovers…
I was a little concerned by the fact that this book is written in the second person – a rather unusual choice, probably because it can get super annoying really quickly. But here it is just done perfectly – in fact, the best example of the style I think I’ve seen. This is because while there are regular moments of “You..”, the narrator, Aaron, isn’t addressing the reader but rather his dead wife. The whole thing is his conversation with the ghostly memories he has of her, as he delves into both her obsessive investigation and the dark tangles of her early life.
From this narration, we also get to experience a lot of slightly spooky goings on, all the while never sure if Aaron is really being haunted or if his grief is manifesting itself into wishful thinking. Now, I’m a huge wuss when it comes to creepy, so I was very pleased that while things here are spooky, I wasn’t freaked out at all. Perhaps it’s because Aaron would welcome a sign of his wife’s continued existence, and so is less scared of mysterious shadows, lights turning themselves on, music doing the same with very clue-driven titles, and more.
Some of that might sound a little cheesy, as I type it, but the atmosphere of the book is just spot on. It’s got that small town horror vibe, and all the supernatural possibilities are perfectly balanced with a very down to earth mystery.
The final reveal maybe didn’t quite reach the heights I hoped for from the gripping story telling, but it was still good, and with a certain something extra that made everything tie together wonderfully. Very recommended.
NetGalley eARC: 352 pages / 19 chapters
First published: July 2021
Read from 15th-21st July 2021
My rating: 9/10