The first half of this book is a riveting, fast-paced psychological thriller that I’d easily rate five stars. Strangely, a bit past the midpoint, it abruptly shifts into what seems almost like another book. The tone alters, the perspectives change and the main characters are quite different.
As Caroline prepares a housewarming party that will allow her socialite friends to view her and her husband’s new multi-million dollar mansion on the coast of the Hamptons, she encounters a strange man standing on the beach, peering in at her. As Caroline’s marriage publicly dissolves and the money in her bank accounts disappears, she turns to this young, handsome stranger for comfort. But after a careless fling with him, it soon becomes apparent that he has an unhealthy infatuation with her that is putting her family – and her life – in danger.
In terms of commercial fiction, the first part of this book was brilliant. It had two strong, unreliable narrators, and it deftly shifted perspective between the two of them, including inconsistencies and diverging viewpoints that made you question what was actually happening. I was totally on its ride and couldn’t stop reading. Truth be told, I was blown away by the writing until I reached a place in the book a little past the midpoint.
I wished that the strong storytelling would have continued until the end, it was THAT GOOD. Regardless, it’s clear Michele Campbell is a gifted writer. This book is definitely worth a read, if only for the amazing set up and suspense build. Even if – like me – you feel a bit let down that the last part of the book isn’t as tight and compelling as the beginning.
Thank you St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the ARC of the wonderful book, coming out July 23!