Image and synopsis from Amazon:
” “I did something terrible Grace. I hope you can forgive me …”
Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s last words, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.
When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.
But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?
There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?”
This was a very exciting read! I don’t read a lot of psychological thrillers, although I really should because I always enjoy them. I loved Gone Girl and Girl on a Train and The Sister had a similar feel to it. The story starts with Grace grieving over the death of her friend, Charlie. The narrative is told through both present time and as a series of flashbacks. After Charlie’s death, Grace decides to search for Charlie’s father, who left before Charlie was born. She hopes that by finding him she will finally be able to cope with Charlie’s death and hopefully find answers. This is where things really start to pick up.
I really enjoyed the “then” and “now” flashbacks. They were absolutely relevant and helped us understand Grace, who was not a very honest or reliable narrator in her adult life. Both story lines were equally interesting and exciting. They often switched at a cliffhanger which was frustrating but only because I was so eager to know what happened! I felt as if the flashbacks and present time were all culminating into this big understanding of what was really happening and I eagerly read until the end.
There is also the overarching mystery of “what Charlie did.” Early on, we learn that Charlie dies and leaves behind a note saying she did something “terrible.”I was constantly thinking of this throughout the story. What did she do? Did she leave any clues? It was very exciting. Especially as we got to know Charlie through the flashbacks..my mind never stopped coming up with possible scenarios!
Grace is quite the unreliable narrator, which I actually like in this book. She is never fully honest in her adult narrative so we learn about her as a character through a series of flashbacks. These flashbacks help us answer questions about her past. Why was she raised by her Grandparents? How did she meet Dan? Why was she so close with Charlie?
She was also quite oblivious at times. She often frustrated me and sometimes I wanted to shake her and scream- “Just look around and pay attention!”I additionally wanted to point out that I noticed a lot of reviewers said the plot is predictable. Yes and no. Yes, there were some things that I felt I knew before Grace, but that did not stop me from greedily reading until the end! I quickly realized the more important part of the story was not necessarily who the antagonist is and what they are doing to Grace, but why they are doing it. There were also quite a few revelations at the end that still surprised me.
Overall this was a very entertaining read and I would definitely recommend if you enjoy psychological thrillers.