Friday, January 6, 2017

Her Every Fear

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
HarperCollins: 1/10/17
eBook review copy; 352 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9780062427021

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson is a highly recommended novel of suspense.

Kate Priddy suffers from panic attacks and anxiety due to a terrifying experience with an ex-boyfriend. Kate, who lives in London, agrees to a 6 month apartment switch with Corbin Dell, her second cousin who lives on Beacon Hill in Boston. Hoping that a change will help her heal from her emotional trauma, she is planning to take a couple of art classes while in Boston.  On the day of her arrival Corbin's next-door neighbor, Audrey Marshall, is discovered murdered. The police are questioning tenants, including Kate, who doesn't know Corbin; in fact, she has never met him, so she doesn't have a lot of personal information to provide the investigators about him. Still suffering from jet lag, Kate is thrust right into a murder investigation, while meeting new people who may or may not be involved, and her growing suspicion that Corbin may be involved.

Her Every Fear  is a solid, intense thriller that reaches a satisfying conclusion. It is well-written. After a slow start, it does ratchet the suspense up as the novel progresses. The narrative is told through several different points of view. There is no shockingly unexpected twist or surprise, but it is creepy. As a character driven novel, there is some repetition and retelling of the same events. Actually, Her Every Fear would make a good movie. You'd have to work on some of the issues (below) but as a movie much of the repetition could be avoided and the creepiness played up. 

There were a couple problems/nagging questions with the novel for me. They are all quite obvious. Why on earth would Kate agree to an apartment switch with a cousin she never met, quit her job, and move to Boston for 6 months? How does this mesh with someone who suffers from severe anxiety and panic attacks? How is she supporting herself? It seems that her recovery would progress more in London (and doubtful, to me, that any mother worth that designation would encourage her daughter to do this after the trauma she went through). Why would she be chatting up strangers the way she does? I have no anxiety disorders and I wouldn't be talking to all these people, freely providing personal information. And how does one person manage to be such a psychopath magnet? Where are the rational decisions? 3.5 for me.

Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.

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