'A superbly disquieting psychological thriller'
I've borrowed this descriptor from Amazon, because I think it's so apt. Just after I read the book, I saw the play – at the Bridge Theatre, with Joanne Froggatt as Frances. It was brilliant, and really brought this gripping, unsettling novel to life.
The story follows a woman called Frances, who’s a newspaper subeditor on the book review pages – an ordinary job, and she seems quite ordinary too. She is first on the scene of a car accident. In the dark, she talks to the woman in the car but can’t reach her or see her. By the time the emergency services arrive the woman has stopped speaking and it’s too late.
The dead woman was Alys, the wife of famous author Laurence Kyte. Frances goes to see the family at their request, as she was the last person to see Alys alive. She becomes friendly with the daughter, Polly, and gradually is accepted into the family. Her status at the newspaper grows because of her relationship with the Kytes - but we gradually realise that she’s not quite what she seems.
Frances is the perfect unreliable narrator: not unlikeable at the outset, but the way she behaves gradually shows her true character. I thoroughly recommend this books to those of you who enjoy dark, psychological suspense.
Beautifully written and suspenseful, this story draws you in to Frances’s insidious intentions.