A breathtaking, heart-pounding, dark debut, sure to delight fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep. When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?
As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife’s secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy.
As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she’s lying silent in a hospital bed…
Born in Sweden, Jessica moved to London at the age of 18 to obtain a BSc Hons degree in Publishing and Business. She worked in publishing in the UK for a number of years before heading to Chicago where she edited a magazine for expats. Back in Sweden, she completed a Masters in Creative Writing. Since 2010, Jessica has taught journalism and media at a local university, and has spent the last five years as the marketing and PR manager for a British firm. Last year, she was one of the winners in the Montegrappa Prize for First Fiction at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Jessica is married with three spirited children, and although she’s known for her positivity, her writing tends to be rather dark!
Quick Reasons: there are some super creeptastic scenes, with a SUPER creeptastic POV; these characters are vibrant, well-written, and so individualized; I’m not so sure I like the epilogue chapter, I feel it cheapened the rest of the book somehow; this was a wild, unexpected journey–and I adored it
HUGE thanks to Jessica Jarlvi, Aria Publishing, and Netgalley for sending me a free egalley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
There is something to be said about an author who, seemingly effortlessly, can weave their readers into the heart of a mystery…and keep them enthralled there throughout. Jessica Jarlvi promised a tapestry of drama, intrigue, and fear in the blurb of this book–and then delivered beautifully on those promises! I was sucked in from the very beginning, and taken through a whirling journey spanning the past and present.
These characters are SO defined–super vibrant, complex in their emotions and reactions. Each character was individualized and believable, while still maintaining a sense of “suspicion” that kept me wavering between who might have done it. In fact, I was SO focused on hoping that Jessica Jarlvi wouldn’t go for the obvious, wouldn’t take the scapegoat she provides early on, that I *might* have missed some of the hidden foreshadows….and was caught completely off guard when the answer was finally revealed! This was brilliantly written, honestly–the leaps back and forth between past and present, with the alternating POVs, only helped to confuse and meander my mind from the truth!
I’m not entirely sure I like the epilogue chapter of this book, though I feel this is mostly a personal opinion than anything inherently wrong with the writing. I just felt, after such heavy buildup and tension, that the ending sort of cheapened the read a bit–probably because it ends on a bit of a “and they all lived happily ever after” note, which I just can’t wrap my head around I guess. I wish we had been given a DIFFERENT perspective for the ending, honestly–in fact, there was at the end one character I wish we’d been shown the TRUTH of. I went so far as to imagine how that closing scene could be written, even–though I’d bet Jessica Jarlvi would do much more justice with it than I. Regardless, the rest of the plot was fast-paced and filled with disturbing tension, and I adored the read overall.
This was a SUPER creepy read filled with some unique, sometimes creeptastic, characters. The action was tension-heavy and fast-paced, though I felt as if the ending didn’t quite live up to the rest of the read. I cannot WAIT to see what Jessica Jarlvi will deliver next, as I had a ton of fun stepping out of my head and into these characters’ for a while! I recommend this to lovers of mysteries, alternate POV journeys, and slightly unhinged characters. The coma’s over, penguins; can you figure out who-dun-it before the big reveal?!
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