This contemporary mystery/thriller intrigued me at the beginning, but sadly evolved into a hot mess that I had trouble finishing. It’s a beautiful Valentine’s Day in London. On Hampstead Heath people are enjoying the day until an aggressive argument between a man and woman turns into a murder/suicide. Five strangers that saw the incident and tried to intervene are forever bound by witnessing the violent act.
One of the strangers, disgraced journalist Jen Hunter, receives a message questioning if the incident really happened the way she thought it did. Already mentally vulnerable from recently being fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, Jen heavily relies on her college best friend Bex to keep her grounded. As Jen starts interviewing the other witnesses, and attempts to get back together with her boyfriend, she is taunted by an internet troll that becomes increasingly aggressive. Her only source of security is Bex, who always has her back and acts in Jen’s best interest. Or does she?
As I said, this book started out pretty good. The story is told from the viewpoint of two narrators, Jen and Bex. Jen starts out in a vulnerable place, but initially seems able to persevere and come out stronger. But the more she investigate the incident, the less stable she becomes. Her story devolves into a series of rambling inner dialogue and self-doubt where she jumps to conclusions and makes accusations without ever bothering to simply talk to someone. Likewise, Bex starts out as a concerned, dependable friend helping Jen through her crisis. But as we learn more about Bex, her motives become less and less altruistic. In addition to two unreliable narrators, the author throws in multiple time-line flashbacks and ridiculous situations. A little more than halfway through the book I stopped caring what happened and was just along for the train wreck, outlandish conclusion.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Scarlet. All opinions are my own.