Anna Johnson is having to face the one-year anniversary of her mother Caroline’s suicide…which came 6 months after her father Tom’s death in the same manner and at the same place. Anna lives in their old house with her partner, Mark Hemmings and their newborn daughter, Ella. She’s a bundle of emotions but isn’t imagining things when she receives an ominous (and anonymous) message calling into question her mother’s suicide. It’s serious enough that she contacts the police.
This is one of the strangest stories I’ve ever read. It is told through the lens of three relationships: Tom and Caroline Johnson who both committed suicide within six months of each other; Anna and Mark who met each other when she came to him for grief counseling; and Murray and Sarah Mackenzie, he a retired detective working for the police on minor cases and she suffering from a debilitating borderline personality disorder. It’s a perfect triad…the victims, the family raising questions and the investigator.
Every time I thought I’d assembled the facts and scenarios correctly it all was upended by some newly disclosed situations, past or present. Making things even more intriguing were the deeper insights provided about all in the three relationships. I’ve never been so off balance in a story, created because of all the shocking twists I never saw coming. The narrrator, Gemma Whelan, did an excellent job in her performance of all these characters and their separate stories. Her pacing was perfect, even when the story’s wasn’t.
I enjoyed this a lot though it sometimes was burdened by too much detail, especially when bombshells were being divulged. It was almost maddening at times. However, I highly recommend this book even though it might take some patience at times to get to salient points. I very much advocate for the audio format as Ms. Whelan made a good story even stronger.
- Release Date: March 13, 2018
- Narrator: Gemma Whelan
- Audio Length: 11 hours, 57 minutes
- Publisher: Penguin Audio
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(Thanks to Penguin Random House Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)