Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even …
Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.
Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …
First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…
But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?
Pychological thriller? Very much so. The tension is relentless right from the start and you feel compelled to keep reading.
The prologue describes a chilling scene where an unknown arsonist starts a fire and then the story switches to the present day and the scene of a road accident ….
When Anna witnesses a road accident she recognises the driver as Carla, someone from her past. You realise she has been obsessed with finding Carla for many years who she considers ruined her life. Anna realises this could be her chance to set things straight and extract her revenge. She also sits with the injured motorcyclist, Liam, until the ambulance arrives.
She then visits Liam in hospital and ‘invites’ herself into his life, desperately wanting to to become part of it even although he lives with his grandmother.
I felt Anna was quite a sad character. You know right from the start she has some issues/problems. She has a job but doesn’t seem to socialise with her colleagues. Her only ‘friend’ is the old lady next door, Joan Peat. Anna seems to have a need to be needed. She must have order and routine just to keep functioning but as the story progresses you sense her obsessions escalating and things spiralling out of control.
Much of the story is told in Anna’s voice and her thoughts are very chilling at times but some of it is told from Joan Peat’s point of view. She has known Anna since she was a little girl and through her we learn a bit about Anna’s past.
The writing is good. It’s not a difficult read although sometimes I felt I would have liked a little bit of relief from the escalating tension. (That’s not really a criticism; in a thriller tension is good. Yes?) There are a few twists in the story which make it a very satisfying read.
It’s a really good debut novel and I would love to read more.
The publisher is Bookouture and Safe With Me is due out on 3 November 2016. The author’s webpage can be found here.
(My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy).