Category Archives: Book Review

Review: The Passenger

The Passenger

The Passenger
Lisa Lutz
Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781451686647, November 2016, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Classified as a thriller but it really falls into the “what the heck is going on?” category because there is really no telling what these characters will do.

The Rest of It:

A man is dead. His wife Tanya flees the scene but it’s not clear exactly what has transpired. She heads across the country, stopping here and there to assume new identities as she attempts to run from those looking for her. It should be noted that there are plenty of people looking for her. The story is peppered with letters from a mysterious “Ryan” but it’s not clear how he fits into the story except that he knows Tanya as Jo. Why is she running? Who was she in the past?

Honestly, this story is all over the place. The beginning was a little disjointed but I gave it a little more time and eventually got into the story. Mostly, because I wanted to know why this woman needed to assume all these identities. If she truly wanted to stay hidden,  why was she so careless with details? Tanya/Debra/Jo is not good at assuming identities which makes for an amusing read but also makes her slightly annoying.

There were parts of this book that worked better than others but the most frustrating thing is that you really don’t find out the “whys” until the very end and then you are like, really? THAT’s the reason for all of this?

I think the story had potential but it seemed very orchestrated and overworked and perhaps a bit underdeveloped as far as plot. I’m not entirely sure the author knew where she was going with the story until she got to the end. Even the title didn’t make sense until the very end so the entire time I kept thinking, who is the passenger?

Plus, the main character’s personality is never truly revealed. Sometimes you’re led to believe there is goodness there. Other times she seems to not care what she does or how many laws she breaks. It’s hard to have empathy for her situation when A) you don’t know why she is running, and B) she seems to switch back and forth between having morals and not having any.

Would I read Lutz again? I probably would given that that there parts that I was really into but as far as this one goes, expect a quick read with a thin plot line.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door
By Shari Lapena
Pamela Dorman Books, Hardcover, 9780735221086, August 2016, 320pp.

The Short of It:

A story made-up of lies and secrets makes for a good page-turner.

The Rest of It:

Marco and Anne Conti attend a dinner party at their neighbor’s house while their infant daughter sleeps next door. Bad idea. Cora disappears and because Anne and Marco are too intoxicated to remember details, they can’t remember if they left the door unlocked or exactly when they saw her last. As the disappearance is investigated, secrets are revealed and no one can be trusted.

This is a book that is really hard to put down because every time you turn the page, someone is lying or blame quickly switches from one character to the next. NO ONE in this story can be trusted which is a little aggravating but somehow makes for good reading. Plus, Anne is suffering from postpartum depression so her take on the situation is rather skewed at times which makes you doubt what’s going on.

If you are sensitive to convenient story lines or tire easily of red herrings, you could grow bored with this one. I am typically that type of reader but it was a fun read and a great book to take my mind off of my first week back at work.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.