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Friday, 10 April 2015
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew--and that person is dead.
Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day even if the shocking truth might destroy her.
So, I've gone with the standard synopsis with this one, because if I try to do my own I will give too much away and ruin the book before you guys have even started! We all know I fail at doing my own synopsis half the time!
I can't even with this book, I wasn't sure what to expect, but the book slowly sucks you in until you realise it's been hours and you're glued to the book and your stomachs growling because you lost track of time lost in the pages of the book. It's incredibly compelling and dark and emotional.
We get alternate POV's and you're not entirely sure what happened, what the big secret it is, but as you read it becomes apparent there's two versions of the story here, throughout the course of the book your perspective and view of the characters changes, and your feelings towards the characters changes. I went from feeling sorry for Catherine, to hating her, then to kind of understanding but still disliking her to fully feeling so much sympathy for her and rage at Stephen. Although I will admit, I never actually liked Stephen, I thought he was dodgy from the beginning and then I understood his grief but he was kind of going the wrong way about it. So yeah. It's emotional as hell!
The two POV's where done very well, with Stephen becoming more and more sinister as the book goes on, and Catherine losing control very swiftly over her life, while I felt for Catherine she was kind of kept at a distance from the reader, most likely done to keep you guessing about what really happened, did she really have an affair? And so on.
This might be a bit weird, but the book had a kind of nostalgic feel to it, in the sense that memories of going on holiday, and whining for any inflatable water device....seats...lilo's....dinghies, and inevitably being denied and sitting there longingly staring at all the kids with them, all came flooding back. I never was allowed a dinghy, now that I think about it, and at the end of every holiday they would always be left behind for others to use.
The book is plainly written, and it makes it so easy to read, and allow the book to suck you in and take you along for the ride. The suspense practically oozes off the page, and you're unsure who to believe, who's story is correct, while trying to work out your own theories and then never coming close.
There is an uncomfortable scene, that should probably have a warning about for people who would be triggered by it, but I thought it could have gone very wrong, but was written quite well, with respect and care. The book will definitely stay with you after you've finished reading. I mean I couldn't believe the husband and his behaviour. Like seriously? The book is kind of haunting really.
Disclaimer is a compelling read, atmospheric and will suck you in to the story bit by bit until you've finished the book, and will haunt you for a while after!