We all watched the YouTube video create by Clare specially for our book club where she answered some question that I'd sent her. We all enjoyed the video and found that it gave us a lot of extra background with regards the book and some of its elements.
Please be aware that there might be some spoilers in this review, do not continue to read this review unless you've either read the book or don't mind being spoilt!
The main element of this months discussion focused around how we mostly all fell for the big twist in the very middle of the book! We all loved how it was done, and even if we had slightly guessed at it we were still excited by it and wanted to know how Clare would work the rest of the book so that is kept our interest. We really should not have worried! There was so much more to come, and the real culprit of the crime isn't revealed until right at the end of the book.
The second half of the book was really creepy in contrast to the first half after we're introduced to Ian. We really enjoyed reading about how the relationship between Ian and his girlfriend/wife evolved. It really gave an excellent example of how an abuser can be so manipulative in order to keep their partner with them. The fact that we could see the relationship mature over a long time period made so much more realistic. It made everything that happened afterwards seem so completely believable and understandable in terms of how everyone reacted. Ian was so incredibly creepy as he isolated his wife from her friends and family. He even learnt from his mistakes in previous relationships in order to be a "better" abuser! We had a lot of discussion about how someone could have that amount of power over someone so easily.
We felt that the background Clare Mackintosh has as a police officer dealing with people like Ian and situations like a hit and run really came through in this book. It wasn't cold and factual but you could tell that the basis for the story was real. Having some chapters from the viewpoint of the police was interesting and just enough for us as lay people reading a thriller.
Our final thoughts were for the last part of the book and what that meant, thankfully Clare explained her reasoning in the video which settled our minds a great deal. We then wondered if Jenna would ever be happy given her past. We came to the conclusion that although the things that happened would always haunt her she would probably be happier now than she ever would have been before. We all liked Jenna as a character and felt that this ending was appropriate for her.
Overall we gave this book 9 out of 10.