This book is the author’s sixth featuring detectives Charlie Zailer (a female) and Simon Waterhouse. The two are now married, although from what I can see of their relationship in just this one book, I have to wonder why. They don’t seem to know each other very well, they don’t have much in common, and aren’t even very physical. Nevertheless, they provide a bit of relief from the growing psycho-ness of the main characters, Connie and Kit Bowskill.
Late at night when Connie can’t sleep, she has taken to looking at real estate virtual tours – in particular, a house in Cambridge, where she and Kit have talked about moving. As she takes the virtual tour of 11 Bentley Grove, she sees a dead woman lying face down in a pool of blood in one of the rooms. She screams and runs for Kit, but by the time he looks at the tour, the woman is gone. Nevertheless, Connie is convinced a crime has been committed, and goes to the police.
From here, the books goes through more twists and turns than an amusement ride. It’s not entirely smoothly done, nor entirely realistic, but it definitely keeps you turning the pages.
Discussion: This book embraces its identity as a “psychological thriller” not only by having many convoluted developments to psych out the reader, but also by populating the story with some very deranged characters. Simon and Charlie, while not crazy, are more than occasionally annoying, and Simon even struck me as sadistic at times . . . and, okay, possibly crazy. Certainly he has a crazy mother. As does Connie. As does Kit. A few other crazy women inhabit the story, making one wonder if the author has some sort of gender issues going on.
The only characters I liked were the two witnesses to Simon and Charlie’s wedding: Charlie’s sister Olivia, and Simon’s co-worker Chris. But no one else in the book liked them, so I felt as if I were in the Bizarro World, with everything upside down.
Evaluation: In terms of likeable characters or plot believability, I wasn’t that taken by this story. If you have a great love of plot twists, however, the book won’t let you down in that regard.
Published in the U.S. by Penguin Books, 2012