Published: March 2021
Publisher: Head Of Zeus
My Rating: 🦋🦋🦋🦋/5
Emma is a psychiatrist living in Germany and is the only survivor of a serial killer. Or at least she thinks she was…
No one is convinced, not even her husband. She soon quits her job and stays home, where it is safe and quiet. Where no one can hurt her. But one day she accepts a package for a neighbour and everything changes. She has no idea what she has let into her house.
If a psychological thriller, with twist after twist is what you’re after then I think you’ve found your next read. This book will have you doubting what you think you know so often, you won’t be sure what and who you can believe.
“Why should strangers believe her if her husband didn’t?”
This book is not only a thriller, but also delves into the life of someone living with mental illness and how at times those who have been diagnosed with one are often treated differently as there is a stigma attached. Emma’s concerns about her safety are often overlooked and thought to just be paranoia. She struggles with anxiety and agoraphobia with panic attacks. It affects her social life and relationships with everyone close to her. She even begins doubting herself and her own sanity.
The themes are quite dark and there are scenes of sexual assault and violence. The story is told from Emma’s perspective and the book alternates between the past and the present, but does so in a way that is easy to follow.
I really enjoyed her internal dialogue and this is actually where we see how much she really struggles with her own thoughts. She gets to a point where she’s not sure what is real and if she is imagining things. A lot of the time I found myself unsure of what to believe and also kept doubting what Emma was actually saying. ‘Was she or wasn’t she attacked. Is this real or is she hallucinating?’
I kept thinking that it must be so scary and difficult for Emma to deal with her mental condition as a psychiatrist, having treated patients with the same symptoms. A sentence that stuck in my mind was, ‘What sort of life is it if you can’t distinguish between madness and reality?’ She realizes that she can’t even trust herself and her own mind.
There were so many twists at one point and happened at such a pace that it was almost overwhelming. But I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is definitely not Fitzek’s first rodeo and he clearly knows how to keep the reader coming back for more. This made me look a up some of his other work which sounds just as exciting. I guarantee you that this is the first, but not the last book I read by this author!
Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.