What’s it all about?:
A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world is shattered. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape her past, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of the cruel November night that changed her life for ever.
DI Ray Stevens is tasked with seeking justice for a mother who is living every parent’s worst nightmare. Determined to get to the bottom of the case, it begins to consume him as he puts both his professional and personal life on the line.
As Ray and his team seek to uncover the truth, Jenna, slowly, begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating.
What did WE think?:
CHRISSI: The author Clare Mackintosh is an ex policewoman. Do you think this is evident in the story telling?
BETH: The author has an immediate advantage over all other authors working in the crime genre because of her previous profession! She’s someone that has seen things first hand and is aware of all the necessary protocols and procedures. If I hadn’t known she was in the police I would say she is an author that has done her research very well and I’m sure she still had to do a bit of research to write this fantastic story.
BETH: What kind of effect did this book have on your emotions?
CHRISSI: I have to admit, it was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. I think I went through so many emotions throughout the course of this story. I had a bit of everything, from heartbreak, to confusion, to doubt, to anger and to hope. There really a journey (sorry, that’s cheesy!) throughout this story and I was completely invested in the story. I felt a real connection to the characters, and that’s why I experienced such strong emotions!
CHRISSI: Without spoilers, discuss what you think the future holds for Jenna.
BETH: This is going to be so hard! Okay, Jenna has been through the mill in this novel and has suffered more than any person should have to. However, I think her strength shines through in the way she manages to pick herself up and get on with her life as much as she can. She also has the support of a good man beside her and her family and friends so I have high hopes that Jenna is going to be okay. Maybe a bit of therapy would be good though?!
BETH: There are two stories going on in this novel – the story of Jenna and the one of Kate and Ray. How do you think the author dealt with this?
CHRISSI: If I’m being completely honest, I felt like Kate and Ray’s story sort of fell flat for me. I think it was an interesting element to the story, but at the same time I don’t think it really added much (but some relief from the confusion of Jenna’s life and back story). I feel like Kate and Ray’s story could have been fleshed out a little more, just to add some more depth to it, but that’s purely my opinion. Perhaps it was intentional to not have them as a focus but more of a support in the story. Hmm. Definitely interesting to think about.
CHRISSI: Did you predict at any point where the story might be going?
BETH: No way. At no time! The twists and turns in this story absolutely floored me and I love being surprised by a novel, even when I think I’ve got it all sorted in my head. It often seemed to change genres as well from contemporary to psychological to thriller which proves just how versatile a writer Clare Mackintosh is.
BETH: Discuss the relationship between Ray and Kate
CHRISSI: I kind of touched on this in your last question, but I didn’t think their relationship was as fully fleshed out as it could have been. I mean, it was believable that’s for sure, but I didn’t think it had much depth to it. This could be intentional of course. I could completely understand how they would find a connection with one another, but I’m really not sure what Kate meant to Ray. Was it a longing for his old life/his single days? Did she remind him of his wife before their lives changed with having children? It could have been all of the above, but I was never really fully clear of how he felt about his wife and how his feelings for Kate compared.
CHRISSI: How do you think this book stands up to others in its genre?
BETH: It doesn’t stand up. It stands out! As a debut novel, this is a fantastic piece of writing that keeps you guessing and constantly amazes you. I’m really excited now to see what Clare Mackintosh is going to do next, she’s definitely one to watch. No pressure or anything Clare!
BETH: Would you read another book by this author?
CHRISSI: Oh yes. I said to you as I was reading this book that I thought I had predicted what was going to happen. I totally hadn’t and I love that. Clare Mackintosh is one to watch out for!
Would WE recommend it?:
CHRISSI: Without a doubt!
BETH: But of course!
CHRISSI’s Star rating (out of 5):
BETH’s Star rating (out of 5):