The bestselling author of Close My Eyes returns with a chilling psychological thriller.
Julia has always been the friend that Livy turns to when life is difficult. United fifteen years ago by grief at the brutal murder of Livy’s sister, Kara, they’ve always told each other everything.
Or so Livy thought.
So when Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot come to terms with the news that she chose to end her own life. The Julia that Livy knew was vibrant and vivacious, a far cry from the selfish neurotic that her family seem determined to paint her as.
Troubled by doubt but alone in her suspicions, Livy sets out to prove that Julia was in fact murdered. But little does she realise that digging into her best friend’s private life will cause her to question everything she thought she knew about Julia. And the truth that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart.
This is a story about about friendship. Livvy has been close friends with Julia, since the murder of her sister eighteen years ago. Julia is found dead in her flat, in an apparent suicide. Livvy seems to be the only one who sees Julia’s death as suspicious. Instead of visiting the police and pressing for an investigation, Livvy starts to look into Julia’s life and tries to work out what happened to her friend.
The book is at its strongest, when we hear from the killer of Julia, a self professed psychopath. I liked the dark thoughts and bizarre reasoning for murder. Perhaps a touch of humour would have worked here.
Livvy was quite hard for me to relate to initially. She seemed down trodden in her role as a housewife and mother, as if she had lost herself somewhere. She was irritating and the slow pace of the first part of the book didn’t help. She had little in the way of trust for her husband, Will and was over obsessed with his past affair. I lost sympathy there. What is the point of being with someone if you cannot forgive or understand them? Livvy couldn’t let it go and was almost willing her husband to be unfaithful again. Their relationship seemed quite sad to me. She came out of her shell and became more independent and less of a passive aggressive doormat, thank goodness.
Her relationship with Julia was harder to pin down. They seemed to be opposites, glamorous singleton versus unhappy married. I felt Julia was insubstantial. She was either loved or hated, misunderstood or mysterious. I never truly felt as a reader that I got to know her and I alternated between believing either Livvy or one of the other characters, about her true nature. I still can’t work out who Julia really was.
After a painfully slow start, I became quite immersed in the drama of the suicide and aftermath. What kept me reading were the interspersed parts from the killer and trying to work out who Julia was. What I feel let the book down was the lack of coherence about Julia.