They say that if a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazonian rainforest, it can change the weather half a world away. Chaos theory…
All I know is today is that you can think that what you’ve done is only the flap of a butterfly wing, when it’s really a thunderclap.
And both can result in a hurricane.
Julie’s life has gotten hard, she’s become a famous author and managed to bag herself a crazed stalker, so she decides to move her family across the country in hope of a new, stalkerless, beginning. And when she meet neighbour John, they hit it off immediately, the future seems brighter. But before long, things start to go wrong again. Who knew moving into a beautiful picturesque new neighbourhood could be so deadly?
I was really worried about reading this because Netgalley classed it as women’s fiction and I have serious beef with that genre… but also, I was expecting a suspense thriller, not some family-lovey-dovey bullshit, but after seeing the rave reviews on Goodreads I had a little more hope that this would be bearable for me. And boy was it bearable, more than that in fact, it was exciting and thrilling to read!
As Stephen King says “Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.”and this book certainly didn’t! I thought it was excellent at keeping you on your toes, feeding you chunks of mystery and suspense a little at a time.
Minor spoilers in this paragraph. I really liked the main characters in this book… separately. Julie was a good mum and loving wife who was dealing with all her issues in a non-annoying way and John was a good dad, and, for the most part, a good husband. But put the two of them together and they got annoying. How could a grown man and woman not realise the friendship they had managed to create out of one conversation the day Julie moved in was inappropriate for so long? Julie especially, as her relationship with Daniel seemed close to perfect! The childishness of their situation had me really irritated and uncomfortable throughout the novel. I never used to have a problem with these kind of relationships in books until me and Matt had been together for a while, not that I ever condoned cheating on a partner before I got into a relationship, just the thought of being cheated on by your other half sets off all kinds of emotions and feelings inside of me that I can’t even begin to describe.
My favourite character was Daniel though, what a lovely, gentle and understanding man… if not a little naive. Though I didn’t like Hanna, but she had every right to be angry and suspicious with John.
It’s pretty clear from a few chapters in who our criminal is, but McKenzie does well to keep what specifically the “accident” is and who our victim is secret until just the right moment. When we found out what happened and who it happened to I was shocked! It’s been and long time since a book has surprised me in the same way. What a crazy end to this rollercoaster ride of a book!
Overall, this is a fantastic suspense novel, with just the right amount of “women’s fiction” merged with thriller. I seriously recommend this for all thriller/suspense readers out there, I’m sure this won’t disappoint!
(I don’t mean to create any kind of drama with this comment but this whole novel is so American! Wanting to sue someone over small things? Having “block parties” and neighbourhood newsletters and stuff with an immature queen bee in charge of it all? This shit would never go down in the UK.)
Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this in an exchange for an honest review.