I was so excited when I saw this in my local book shop. It’s a lovely hardback edition and it was also signed by the author which was a great bonus. Even though I haven’t been reading psychological thrillers for the past lot of months, I decided to make an exception because this guy is one of my favourite authors. I’ll read anything by him because I‘m rarely disappointed.
Sophie Duguet--young, successful, and happily married--thought at first she was becoming absentminded when she started misplacing her mail and forgetting where she'd parked her car the night before. But then, as her husband and colleagues pointed out with increasing frustration, she began forgetting things she'd said and done, too. And when she was detained by the police for shoplifting, a crime she didn't remember committing, the confusion and blackouts that had begun to plague her took on a more sinister cast. Her marriage started to come apart at the seams.
Now Sophie is in much deeper water: the young boy she nannies is dead while in her care, a tragedy of which she has no memory. Afraid for her sanity and of what the police will do to her when the body is discovered, Sophie goes on the run, changing her identity and appearance to evade the law. Forced to lead a very different kind of life, one on the margins of society, Sophie wonders where everything went wrong.
Still, with a new name and a new life, she hopes that she'll be able to put her demons to rest for good. It soon becomes clear, however, that the real nightmare has only just begun . . .
The first part of the novel is from Sophie’s perspective. At the beginning I didn’t like Sophie. Her attitude towards the young boy she was caring for was harsh and extreme. She came across as self-serving and didn’t illicit any sympathy from me. Regardless of my feelings towards her I enjoyed this part of the novel. Unanswered questions piled one on top of the other and the pacing was excellent.
The second segment was written from a man called Frantz’s POV. We don’t know what his connection is to Sophie, but the more we read the more we understand what’s been happening to Sophie. I did feel this section dragged a little towards the end and the repetition was a bit tedious, but soon we moved onto the third section which brought Sophie and Frantz together. My favourite section was the fourth and last which was concerning revenge. To go into any more detail would be spoiler territory.
The characterisation was excellent. Although I didn’t learn too much about Sophie outside of the plot, Frantz was further illuminated and became someone I eventually pitied.
Quite a twisted read with a number of surprises, I would definitely recommend it. A brilliant psychological thriller which played homage to an earlier great work. The plot wasn’t particularly fresh, but it had enough originality to make it a great read.
The tight pacing and characterisation skilfully woven around a great plot is why I love Pierre Lemaitre.