The One Who Got Away by L.A. Detwiler

This is one of the most genuinely chilling thrillers I’ve read in a while, with a compelling and likeable character and terrifying flashbacks into the mind of a killer.

“Get out while you can. You’ll die here…”
Adeline Evans has recently moved into a home for the elderly. A safe space, where she can be cared for.
When she begins to receive cryptic and threatening notes, she is certain that someone is out to get her.
But the residents are warned against listening to a woman who is losing her memory. It would seem Adeline is tormented by the secrets in her past, and that the menace is all in her mind.
Until danger comes down the corridor and starts knocking in the night…

This begins with Adeline moving into a home and almost instantly her emotions are right on the surface for the reader to feel. It’s easy to feel empathy for her and to understand how she is coping with the move, which is mainly due to Detwiler’s brilliant and emotive writing. Adeline is a likeable main character, but her past remains pretty mysterious to the reader almost the entire novel.

Although the story begins in 2019, there are regular flashbacks to 1959. In this time period we see the perspective of both Adeline and the killer. These chapters are where the novel gets seriously interesting and chilling. The insights into the mind of the killer are twisted and very cleverly written. The creepy level of obsession is frightening even for the reader. Soon however, this seems to start to blend into the present day, with Adeline receiving threatening notes and messages. There are genuinely chilling moments and I was totally hooked throughout.

What I liked was that there are lots of clues throughout, hinting at various suspects but never quite revealing the answer. It kept me engaged in trying to figure it out and at times I was convinced I’d found certain answers or reveals. The suspense just keeps on building and by the end I was glued to the page. It’s a brilliant ending and while I don’t want to give too much away, it didn’t end how I expected it to – Detwiler manages to twist the genre expectation expertly, with the ending definitely holding at least one surprise for the reader.

All the way throughout this novel I felt both the characters and the plot were excellent – chilling, full of twists and suspense, and the perfect pace of action. If you need a new thriller author, then this is the one for you.

The One That Got Away
L.A. Detwiler
One More Chapter, 19th February 2020

All The Little Lies by Chris Curran

Your whole life has been a lie…
One email is all it takes to turn Eve’s world upside down. It contains a picture of her true birth mother, Stella, and proves that Eve’s entire life with her adoptive parents has been a lie.
 Now she must unravel the mystery of Stella’s dark past. But what Eve finds will force her to take enormous risks, which put her – and her new-born baby – in immediate danger…

*minor spoilers*

I thought this was brilliant, fast-paced and very intense. It’s an emotional book, as Eve’s journey to find her birth mother is really harrowing. The way it affects her relationship with her adoptive parents, especially her mother, is also fascinating, and there’s a lot of undertones and unsaid words that Curran still manages to get across to the reader.

I also just really liked Eve’s character in general. She’s not just the helpless pregnant lady, she’s determined and pretty resilient – not long after giving birth she’s back on her search for her birth mother. Her guilt is apparent throughout the story, both towards her adoptive parents and her husband Alex. She’s a brilliantly written character, as I felt that the reader was really able to connect with her.

One of the things I liked most about this book was how real all the characters were. Alex was patient but also understandably frustrated, and during one scene where Eve almost trips over holding Ivy, his reaction is extremely relatable. He is both caring of her and angry with her for being so apparently careless. When Eve tries to explain that she feels she’s being watched he is logical in his belief that there was no one in the garden, but he does take the time to listen to her fears. Curran balances the sinister and mysterious story with the solidness of the characters really well, and this is what makes this story so great.

The twist at the end is great – perhaps not the most surprising, but I loved the way that Curran built up the mystery of Stella. Simon, another key character in this, is also brilliant – he’s always sort of hovering at the edge so you never quite forget about him but he’s not really on your radar at the same time. When he does come out of his shell, he’s distraught and stressed, and you can almost sense the panic radiating out of him.

I love stories that connect with the past, and so the flashbacks to young Stella were particularly interesting for me. Before giving birth to Eve she seemed like a naive kid, but after becoming a mother her character develops even more. The fog that descends over her is definitely suspicious and her friendship with Jill is seriously weird, but the way it’s written is so clever that it’s even difficult for the reader to grasp what exactly is going on between the two women.

I loved All The Little Lies, and would 100% recommend this! The mystery itself, combined with the brilliantly written characters, make for a fascinating story.

Credits:
All The Little Lies
Chris Curran
Harper Impulse and Killer Reads, 15th Feb