I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It is released in the UK, March 2016.
Sarah is going back to her husband’s home town for the first time in their 20 year marriage. As far as Sarah knows her husband’s parent’s were killed by his father’s drink driving. He has never taken Sarah or their children back to Penny Gate and has only returned when obligated. The longer they spend in Penny Gate the more Sarah realises that nothing is as it seems and the husband she thought she knew is becoming more of a stranger.
This novel took me a little bit of time to get into because the normal back story that you get for a protagonist wasn’t there. Instead the main character spent all her time talking about her husband and his characteristics. I realise now finishing the book that this is a clever technique, the fact she is noticing his behaviours because she thinks she knows him when in fact he has been hiding terrible secrets from her. Once the mystery and intrigue developed I just had to read until I knew who the murderer was (Spoiler alert: there is a murder or two in this book). I did guess who was behind everything fairly early on but then some red herrings had me doubting myself and I changed my mind. I think being able to confuse the reader and have them dead set on different characters is very impressive and I admired that about this book. The other thing that Heather Gudenkauf does very well is that she writes beautiful scenery. I loved her various depictions of nature and I thought some of the language used was very artful and creative to really captured the scene and set the tone. I normally don’t like a lot of description in books but I really enjoyed it in this book.
This wasn’t as gripping as some books that I have read but it was an enjoyable read and very easy to read. If there was anything I could change it would be the character development for the main character Sarah. If the character was better and more interesting then I think I would have been more drawn into the book. I don’t really feel that I know anything about her, there was no depth to her and it appeared like she was more of a vehicle to tell the story of Jack’s family. On the whole though, it is a good read and I would recommend to someone looking for a quick and easy read with a bit of intrigue and mystery. I have read all of this author’s books and I would say this is her best one so far so if you are a fan of the author then definitely pre-order this.