Review of Her Every Fear
This is American author Peter Swanson’s third thriller, following The Girl With A Clock For A Heart and The Kind Worth Killing. The latter was a Richard & Judy Bookclub choice, and was shortlisted for a Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Award, and so brought his work to a much wider readership. Swanson specialises in psychological novels, in which the story is seen from many different characters’ points of view, and the readers’ perspective constantly changes as more of the plot is revealed. Like the two previous books, this features Detective Roberta James, of the Boston police, but she is not a major character, and it is not necessary to have read the other two books to enjoy this one.
Her Every Fear is set in both England and America, as Englishwoman Kate Priddy decides to move to Boston, USA, to attend an art course. Kate’s life has been derailed by her relationship with George, a boyfriend she met at university, who turned out to be paranoid, possessive and murderous. Jealous of everyone else Kate knew or talked to, George began to run her life, leading her to split up with him. But this led in turn to a terribly traumatic event which has haunted Kate ever since, and has given her panic attacks and mental health problems.
Now, she is ready to take back her life, and so has agreed to a flat swap with her American cousin, Corbin, who she has never met. Corbin will move to Kate’s small flat in London for several months, whilst Kate will take over his luxury apartment in Boston, Massachusetts. When Kate arrives at Corbin’s apartment, however, she is disturbed to discover that Corbin’s next-door neighbour in the building, Audrey Marshall, has been murdered in her own home the day before. Who could have done it? And is Kate now also in danger once again?
First focusing on the life of Kate, the third person narrative shifts to include other perspectives. Alan Cherney is another resident of the apartment block, and he introduces himself to Kate on the day she arrives. He knows more about the murder victim, Audrey, than he should do, as he is a voyeur and often watched her through the windows of her flat, particularly after his relationship with his own girlfriend, Quinn, ended. Alan is convinced that Corbin was in a relationship with Audrey, one that he kept secret from everyone else.
"a rewarding read which provides a terrifying insight into the psychopathic mind"
Then there’s Jack Ludovico, an old friend of Audrey’s, who Kate meets on the street outside the apartment. He’s been trying to find out exactly what happened to his friend. He also insists that Corbin and Audrey were in some kind of relationship, and that Corbin did not treat Audrey very well. But when Kate emails Corbin about the case, Corbin insists that he was not seeing Audrey romantically. Who is telling the truth? Can Kate trust any of them?
This is not exactly a murder mystery, as we find out who the culprit quite early on the book, but it is a clever, novel about how the truth can be bent and twisted, and people can be manipulated, by those who do not have a conscience. For any fan of Patricia Highsmith or Ruth Rendell, it’s a rewarding read which provides a terrifying insight into the psychopathic mind.
Written by Ruth, Marketing