Secrets and Lies, Lots of Lies
The best thing I can say about this book is that I managed to finish it; admittedly it was a hard slog but I got there in the end.
It started out so well, the shock of the terrorist attack, the claustrophobia of the storage room and the sheer creepiness of the phone call in to the radio station. The scene was set for a tense tale to unfold and for Cara and Amy to give us both sides of their stories. Unfortunately, I felt the opportunity was squandered and it all became rather trite and fear by numbers - even worse it reminded me of Single White Female.
Nothing ever feels real in this fictional world. Now, this could be a deliberate ploy by the author to highlight the surreality of the terrorist experience and the subsequent personal fall out for Cara - sadly, I suspect that this is not the case. The conceit that Cara would ever offer Amy a place to stay or even let a complete stranger have access to her beloved small daughter completely ruined the story for me. Cara goes to great lengths to tell us how much she loves and adores Mabel and then she lets Amy move in as a nanny - NOPE, no, not going to happen in a world where people have even bursts of rationality. Once that happens you realise that all bets are off and that people are going to behave in unlikely ways and absolutely anything can (and probably will) happen.
The characters are pretty much flat. Each has one or, if you're lucky, two main characteristics that define them and they never deviate from this path. Troy is a boy-man who has never really grown up and becomes petulant when he doesn't get his own way - hence his desire to rekindle his old relationship with Cara. Cara is feeling swamped by her adultness and threatened by her husband starting to work outside the home. The only one who has any real depth between these pages is Amy and that is quite simply because she is so damaged that even she doesn't know which version of her will turn up when she wakes up.
In short, the story raises more questions than it answers and there is a lot of story to get through. A lot of soul-searching and mental breast-beating by both Cara and Amy that is, I am sure, intended to inform us of the character's personal motivations. All it does is slow the story tale and make your brain glaze over like you really are on that boring tube ride with Cara or preparing that meal with Amy - there is no insight in these sections they are filler.
To sum up this is marketed as "The twisty shocking thriller", it is actually "The straightforward banal tale of poor judgement".