For a delightfully creepy “villain” character, for an ending that makes you question everything in the best way, for atmosphere over character reflection
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died. Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
The coauthor premise was abandoned pretty quickly in lieu of the rest of the book’s plot, which is fine because the rest of the book was great. It did weaken the overall structure of the story a tiny bit, because it was clearly just used as the bridge to get her in the house, but it’s a minor thing. This book just rushes you right into the creepy bits, and everything prior to that is minimally important in my opinion. 😂 I just want the eerie-ness!
I did not expect to start getting a book within a book. I don’t mind that happening, especially because it was so compelling, but FYI to those of you who dislike that style. It happens often, and probably ends up being like a full quarter of the book as Verity’s writing.
You know what else I didn’t expect? The sheer amount of steamy sex scenes! Good lord! I’m really glad that we’re working from home right now, because I would have felt real uncomfortable reading this on the public train to work. 😂 So be aware, because there is a ton of oral sex for both sexes and lots of other sex and thoughts about sex besides.
The character development is pretty scant in this book, with Verity really being the one we learn most about. This didn’t really bother me because in a thriller/suspense like this it’s more about the mystery and it’s fine if other aspects are subdued in favor of creating a perfectly sinister atmosphere.
I would have liked to see more haunting clarity on the thought patterns that Lowen falls into regarding Jeremy. Her lack of self awareness in that regard is eerie on its own, but I would have loved to see it pushed a little harder. As she reads more and more of Verity’s manuscript, I felt like I saw her unwittingly mirroring some of those thoughts she claims to so abhor. I could be reading that into her… but either way I loved it.
I’m also still suspicious of Jeremy and I feel like he’s the creepiest one of all. #UnpopularOpinion His actions and reactions in the last quarter of the book have me on edge, even though there’s probably no real reason they should. I just… sense something. He’d be getting strong side eye from me.
Basically this book made me want to rant and rave and make theories and go over and over every detail with someone else who read the book — so you should hurry up and read it too, so that we can chat. 😊
And just a personal note that lifting your hips up to keep the sperm in you does not do anything to help get pregnant. I rolled my eyes hard there, not sure why it annoyed me so much.