Monday 9 January 2017

Book Review: Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson.

Product details:
Publisher: William Morrow.
Hardcover, 352 pages.
Release date: January 10th 2017.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: Adult
Source: Received from publisher for review.

 Trading apartments with her Boston cousin seemed like a good idea to Kate. She might finally shake off the nightmares that have haunted her. On arrival, she discovers that the woman in the next apartment has been brutally murdered. Kate’s worst fears are about to be realized, as the police come to suspect her cousin as the killer. There are other bodies in his past that she has yet to learn of.

HER EVERY FEAR is a classic nail-biter about a troubled young woman in jeopardy. This novel echoes those of Patricia Highsmith at her best.

Haunted by a traumatic past that threatens to define her, Kate Priddy is ready for a change. So, when her distant cousin Corbin Dell gets in touch to propose an apartment swap, Kate gladly accepts. For six months, Corbin will live in Kate’s tiny London apartment, while Kate will relocate to Boston, where she’ll take up residence in Corbin’s luxurious Beacon Hill abode. It sounds like a sweet deal to Kate. But, there’s a catch. Soon after Kate arrives in Boston, things start to take a turn for the dark, when the woman in the apartment next to Corbin’s goes missing, only to turn up dead. Kate is used to this kind of darkness. In fact, you could say it follows her around. A murder right next door? It’s not going to deter Kate from enjoying her time in Boston ---at least not at first. However, as the murder investigation gets underway and police questioning comes into play, it seems that this distant cousin of Kate’s, well, he just might be hiding some very dark secrets indeed.

I was first introduced to Peter Swanson’s work via The Kind Worth Killing, which featured the deliciously evil Lily Kintner, and earned Swanson a well-deserved place on my list of auto-buy authors.  Swanson writes stories that capture the imagination with well-drawn characters, backstories that always delve into darkness and multiple twists, many of which will truly surprise. Her Every Fear is another compelling read, once that grabbed me from the get go and kept me hooked throughout. I will say, though, that I had a some issue with the structure of this book, in so far as that at a certain point in the tale,  each major reveal was followed by a step back in time where the events leading to that reveal are relayed from the perspective of another character. This made for a loss of momentum, at times, as it slowed the action down.  When I’m reading a thriller, I want to know what happens next – I don’t want to know what I already know, told from a different perspective. This was definitely my major gripe with this book.

All that said, Her Every Fear is a solid thriller that piqued my curiosity and kept me invested till the end. Is Kate’s cousin a merciless killer? If so, what kind of game is he playing with Kate? Is she next on his murder hit list? It did occur to me, that if I was in Kate’s shoes, I would have gotten the hell out of Corbin’s apartment as soon as the woman next door turned up dead, the victim of a particularly gruesome murder. But then, that wouldn’t make for much of a story. As for Kate, she’s intrigued by the whole thing, and soon finds herself playing amateur detective, a dangerous tactic that might just make her every fear become a reality.

A compelling mystery that is shrouded in the darkness of mistakes once made that can’t be undone, Her Every Fear, though not as twisted or addictive as The Kind Worth Killing, is nonetheless another hit from Swanson. Her Every Fear will keep you reading late into the night as you put yourself in Kate’s shoes and strive to catch a killer from line-up of a mysterious cousins, stalker neighbours, shady strangers and complete unknowns. 

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