“Newlyweds Sam Statler and Annie Potter are head over heels, and excited to say good-bye to New York and start a life together in Sam’s sleepy hometown in upstate New York. Or, it turns out, a life where Annie spends most of her time alone while Sam, her therapist husband, works long hours in his downstairs office, tending to the egos of his (mostly female) clientele.
Little does Sam know that through a vent in his ceiling, every word of his sessions can be heard from the room upstairs. The pharmacist’s wife, contemplating a divorce. The well-known painter whose boyfriend doesn’t satisfy her in bed. Who could resist listening? Everything is fine until the French girl in the green mini Cooper shows up, and Sam decides to go to work and not come home, throwing a wrench into Sam and Annie’s happily ever after.”
Thank you to Harper / Harper Audio for the early digital copy / early audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
This was one of my most anticipated novels of 2020, and I’m sad to announce that I’m disappointed. I’ve looked at reviews on Goodreads, and I seem to be in the minority. I’ve never read the book by Stephen King that this resembles, but I can tell you that the plot seems to be quite similar. It’s even mentioned and read by characters in the story. I read Molloy’s other thriller, The Perfect Mother, and I really enjoyed it. It had so much commentary, and this one does too, but this felt forced.
I try not to be a Negative Nancy when it comes to books that don’t work for me, but this story line just felt botched. There’s clearly so much potential; The building blocks for an amazing psychological thriller. But it honestly feels like a ripoff of a Stephen King novel, which I’m tired of seeing. I want originality, crave it.
The characters were empty shells, checking off the boxes to requirements for a thriller. There was no growth, no personality. Half the time I couldn’t even tell who was speaking. The only plus was that I was listening to the audiobook. There are three different voices narrating the three different perspectives. I think it would be a spoiler if I told you who each character is. Also, that ending was one of the most unsatisfying endings to exist. What even happened? It reminded me of the epilogue of a romance novel. Maybe I’m just being salty.
I will say, the beginning did throw me off a bit. It did have a twist that I didn’t expect. Maybe that’s why I gave it a two-star rating.
I had such high hopes for this, and I don’t want to give up on this author. I’ll probably continue reading from this author unless the next book is like this one (if she decides to write another). I’m going to be honest and tell you that I don’t recommend this.
Aimee Molloy is the author of the New York Times instant bestseller, The Perfect Mother. Aimee is also the author of However Long the Night and the co-author of several works of non-fiction, including Jantsen’s Gift, with Pam Cope. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.
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