*I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: It was just a party. But it turned into a nightmare.
When Rachel wakes up in a strange room, the morning after a neighbour’s party, she has no memory of what happened the night before. Why did her husband leave her alone at the party? Did they row? Why are Rachel’s arms so bruised? And why are her neighbours and friends so vague about what really happened?
Little by little, Rachel pieces together the devastating events that took place in a friend’s house, at a party where she should have been safe. Everyone remembers what happened that night differently, and everyone has something to hide. But someone knows the truth about what happened to Rachel. And she’s determined to find them.
A trigger warning is vital here as the entire plot focuses on the investigation of a violent rape. Lisa Hall does not dwell on the graphic details of the incident, and handles the aftermath with sensitivity and understanding, however the details she does give are very authentic and could possibly be triggering to someone who has been through this traumatic experience.
On to the book…!
Wow! This story had me hooked from the very first paragraph. The reader is placed firmly in Rachel’s shoes as she wakes up with no memory of events and must piece together what has happened to her as the plot progresses.
The story is told through flashbacks to before the party, brief glimpses of Rachel’s memories of the party itself, and a ‘present’ narrative as Rachel investigates and deals with the aftermath of what was done to her. The timeframes are clearly labelled in the chapter headings and therefore not confusing at all (as these things can sometimes be) and the writing keeps up a brisk pace that ratchets the tension throughout.
Hall gives just enough hints and clues to allow the reader to play along with the investigation, whilst still springing some unexpected twists along the way. Every character has their own secret, which may or may not be related to the main plot, and I guessed some but was WAY off the mark on others, which was great fun (I hate a predictable read!). Also unpredictable was the ending, which comes full circle to the prologue, but still managed to surprise me. I was really left pondering the morality of the issue, as hot gut instinct warred with my cooler logical head.
As an aside, in this book Hall creates just about the creepiest delusional stalker I have ever read, to the point where I felt helpless, frightened and frustratingly rageful every time he popped up in Rachel’s personal space with a leer and a suggestive comment. *Shudders*
Definitely recommended to anyone who likes a quick, accomplished, domestic thriller-mystery that is almost unbearably authentic.
Something happened. Something bad. That’s the first thought that swims vaguely through my mind as I struggle my way into full consciousness. Followed by the realization that, I don’t know what, but I know it’s not good. My head hurts. I try to open my eyes, the feeble wash of winter sunshine that tries to force its way through the lining of the curtains making me squint in pain. My head hurts and I feel really, really sick. I close my eyes again, willing the thud at my temples to die down and let me go back to sleep, before I crack one eye open again, a vague sense of uneasiness making me reluctant to keep them closed.
Where am I?…
– Lisa Hall, The Party
The Party is available on Amazon right now!