A special thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Liz Nugent's dark and compelling thriller opens with the perfect hook: "I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her." Told from multiple points, Nugent's debut is a chilling exploration into the nature of evil.
Oliver Ryan is a handsome, charismatic, and successful children's author. He is married to Alice, who illustrates his award-winning books. She is a devoted wife, and their life is one of envy and privilege until one evening, Oliver knocks her into unconsciousness and beats her into a coma hovering between life and death.
Those who know the couple are shocked and are trying to understand what could have driven Oliver to attack his wife so savagely. With each chapter, the story unfolds, and the layers of Oliver's character are peeled away to reveal his manipulation, deception, and shame.
Nugent has a fresh approach to this genre—there is no question of whodunit, and there is no doubt as to what the crime was. Instead she takes the reader on a ride to figure out what could have driven someone to commit such a horrific act. For a debut, this is a solid effort, and I can't wait to see what Nugent writes next.