My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Publisher - Pan Books
Pages - 447
Blurb from Goodreads
"Everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes," said Andy Warhol. And fame is something certain people will go to any lengths to achieve: whether to be revered or reviled, the lure of notoriety is strong for those lacking it.When five-year-old Becky goes missing in a crowded shopping centre, her mother's worst nightmare has come true. But Hailey Gibson's nightmares are just beginning. After Becky is safely returned by Adam Walker, Hailey finds her initial gratitude turning to something else. With her marriage close to ruins, she is tempted to begin an affair with this likeable newcomer. Besides, Hailey wants revenge against her husband and his mistress. And Walker seems willing -- only too happy to please. But maybe he has his own agenda? As she wisely ends their budding relationship, Hailey begins to wonder if Walker could be behind the acts of vandalism committed against her home and family. Or is someone else seeking revenge, who she has not yet encountered? When petty harassment turns to open violence, Hailey finds herself caught in a spiralling vortex of suffering and death . until the shattering truth forces her to make the the most horrendous decision of her life.
Shaun Hutson has always been horror for me, this is more of a psychological thriller with some gore and suspense thrown in. The book opens with the line "There was blood everywhere". It is from the scene where Sharon Tate was murdered by Charles Manson's "family" - every so many chapters there is an opening like this from a true life murder. The first line of our actual tale is "HER CHILD WAS dead". Hailey Gibson's little girl Becky, five years old, is missing from a busy store. However Adam Walker comes to the rescue, a helpful stranger who finds Becky and reunites her with her mother. Hailey is going through hell, trying to cope with her husbands infidelity, attracted to Adam, trying to be a good mum. Things start to spiral and soon Hailey finds someone has been in her house, violence is at her doorstep and she doesn't know who she can trust!
This is a book that draws you in quickly, you know something seems a bit off but you can't quite put your finger on it. The chapters are quite thin so you can fire right through them as you want to know, will she won't she. Who is responsible for the skulduggery afoot and how will it all end. This is a difference theme for me for what I have come to expect from Mr Hutson however I did like it although like seems a bit inappropriate considering the content and how dark some of the book is.
It is not for the faint hearted as it does have scenes of graphic violence, there is also some explicit sex scenes which some may find uncomfortable. Fast paced, it keeps you guessing and if you like thriller or dark scenes with some gore, this is a hit for you. 4/5 for me, I have read quite a few Shaun Hutson and I would read his work again.