The Girlfriend by Sarah Naughton
Sourcebooks Landmark: 3/6/18
eBook review copy; 368 pages
The Girlfriend by Sarah Naughton is a highly recommended psychological thriller with a twisty plot. (It was published in the UK as Tattletale.)
When news reaches her of her brother's accident, Mags, a high powered
lawyer living in Los Vegas, flies back to London. Abe fell from down the
stairs from outside his apartment on the fourth floor of the converted
church where he lives. He is now in a coma and his outlook is not good.
Apparently the only witness was his neighbor and devoted girlfriend,
Jody, who Mags meets at the hospital. Something about Jody is odd...
off, and Mags doesn't believe that she is telling the truth or was the
only witness in the building. She doesn't believe that Abe's fall was an
accident or that he tried to commit suicide. Mags is sure that there is
more going on than anyone is telling her and she's going to get to the
bottom of it. She moves into Abe's apartment and starts investigating,
beginning with his neighbors in the converted church.
Chapters alternate between characters, including Mags, Jodi, and Mira, a
woman living next door to Abe who may know much more than she is
willing to say. Chapters also switch to different time periods, but it
is easy to follow what is happening and distinguish the past from the
present. There are a lot more secrets being held than what happened to
Abe, and Mags may need to uncover them while keeping her own secrets.
But with all the secrets, is anyone telling the truth. More importantly,
are any of these characters reliable?
It is a very well-written twisty novel of suspense and the tension increases incrementally with each new step in the plot. The Girlfriend
is full of basically unreliable and, for the most part, unlikable
characters, who are keeping secrets, but, after a slow start, it did
hold my attention to the end. Even though during several scenes I knew
where the plot was going long before Naughton headed that direction, the
journey was still full of suspense.
There is an opening scene that will seem incongruous to the rest of the
novel, but stick with it and it will make sense. (There are several
jumps back and forth in time, although the others are placed in context
more than the opening scene.) There are also a few other scenes where
you may be shaking your head and mumbling something about these people
being seriously messed up, and they are, but keep with it.
My review copy was courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark.