Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Book Review: "Her Every Fear" by Peter Swanson

Her Every Fear Peter Swanson
Published: January 10, 2017
ISBN: 9780062427021
Genre: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Highly Recommended

You might enjoy this book if you like: Thrillers, books with multiple narrators, disturbing psychopaths

Trading apartments with her Boston cousin seemed like a good idea to Kate. She might finally shake off the nightmares that have haunted her. On arrival, she discovers that the woman in the next apartment has been brutally murdered. Kate’s worst fears are about to be realized, as the police come to suspect her cousin as the killer. There are other bodies in his past that she has yet to learn of.

My Thoughts:
I've been saying for ages that I'm not really a thriller fan, yet I seem to enjoy nearly every one I read, so I think I should probably change my line on that.  I can't say that Her Every Fear lived up to my past experiences.  Instead, it surpassed them.

This is definitely one of the darker thrillers I've read lately.  I hesitate to say that it falls in "girl" sub-genre, but if you like those sort of books, this one should be down your alley.  One of the main character is a young woman as one would expect in such novels, but she's more of a "hook" into the story.  Kate is a well-drawn character with a devastating backstory and readers cannot help but feel protective towards her.

That does not mean that this book does not have unreliable narrators--it does, but Kate is not one of them.  There are 4 other narrators (I won't go into who they are as that might be a bit spoiler-ish) and they are at leas questionable, if not unreliable.  Swanson successfully switches between these narrators seamlessly.  We don't get a heading at the top of each chapter, telling us who we're hearing from; yet there is never any confusion about who is talking.  Narrators don't switch on a chapter by chapter basis, but rather there are chunks told by this person, then this person, etc.

I realized "whodunnit" about halfway through the book, but I'm sure that was Swanson's plan.  The terror of this book is not who committed the crime.  Instead it is the how and why--and how are the other characters going to survive.  I will say that this book contains some scenes of graphic violence, so take heed if that is something to which you are sensitive.  I will say the inner-workings of the minds of some of the characters gave me chills more than the actual violence.

Swanson's prose is a perfect fit for this style of novel.  It's clear, but still builds up tension.  In a book that is so plot-driven, I don't need flowery prose, but I do need the sense of urgency--and Swanson delivers on both counts.  I hadn't planned to plow through this book as quickly as I did, but it was a testament to how I just couldn't put it down.  If you are looking for a thriller that will get your heart pumping and give you the shivers, this is the book for you.

I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review.  I received no other compensation for this post.

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