Spoilers are kept to a minimum in this review, but hints at the plot are given.
This book is a master piece. All the way through I was in the mind of Linda, her character is so well written.
The plot is that a reclusive author Linda Conrads writes a thriller novel to catch her sister’s murderer. As her murderer is a TV journalist, Linda writes the novel and gives him an exclusive interview. The novel is ‘fiction’, perfectly describing the night her sister was murdered.
Linda is home bound, only having interactions with her publisher, assistant, therapist and dog. She has not been out of her house for over 10 years, due to a mysterious illness. However her agoraphobia is a direct result of her being traumatised by finding her sister dead 12 years previously.
The narrative switches from Lina preparing for the interview and giving the interview, to extracts of the book – where we learn how her sister Anna died, and how Linda knows that it was Victor Lenzen that killed her.
The plot keeps you guessing all the way through, Linda imagining what will happen when Victor arrives, and later how she may have been mistaken about the killer’s identity. The interview of course does not go exactly how Linda intends, and we are kept abreast of her mental fragility throughout the novel, hinting perhaps she was in fact the one who killed her sister.
What I think is done amazingly is the breakdown of Linda and Anna’s relationship. At the beginning the picture we are given of Anna is that she was perfection. Selfless and sweet, not even liking cut flowers because she believes it to be cruel. Later we discover that their relationship was not so smooth, in fact Linda was jealous and competitive with Anna in almost every aspect of life. Linda slowly comes to realise that her sister was not quite ‘Saint Anna’ as she had reimagined her to be. In fact her sister was manipulative and could even be cruel. What is done well though is that Linda realises that she has painted Anna too perfectly and remembers all her flaws, and this mental realisation actually helps her find out the truth of her murder.
This book is written beautifully, and carefully guides the reader through a traumatised woman’s mental state, showing how fragile but strong and determined Linda is all at the same time.
Each chapter end leaves you wanting to find the answer, dropping bread crumb after bread crumb of the truth of Anna’s murder. Particularly all through the interview you are almost swallowing the pages, adrenaline filled action packed and leaving the reader questioning everything they have learnt.
Couldn’t recommend this book enough!