A wife, a mother, a killer.
One wrong decision, one terrifying night, leaves student Elizabeth with a stark choice – kill or be killed. And the consequences of that choice will shape her whole life.
Now a wife, a mother, and a lawyer, she must find a way to out run her past, protect her family and live with her secret. But is it really possible to live a happy life with such a huge shadow cast by the past? And as it becomes clear that someone else knows her secret and is hunting her down, time is running out for Elizabeth to keep her family safe.
In the bestselling tradition of Clare Mackintosh and Jenny Blackhurst, Cynthia Clark has written a heart-stopping story about the choices we make and how far we'd go to protect our families. Even if it means deceiving the people we love most...
I'd never heard of author Cynthia Clark till I came across the attractive cover of this book on Facebook. Reading the blurb I was immediately intrigued and wanted to know more. In no time I found myself going through the first chapter of this book and it didn't take me long to become completely absorbed by Elizabeth's terrifying ordeal.
This book is about secrets, how secrets can mold, dictate and even ruin one's life.
"And the longer you keep a secret, the more it crushes your soul, making you want to scream, scratch at your skin, tear your hair out."
Elizabeth Perkins is a successful lawyer, a wife and a mother. To the outside world and to her own family, Elizabeth is just another busy career woman struggling to balance her life between her job and family. But Elizabeth hides a terrible secret. Fifteen years earlier, when she was still a law student, she did something horrible, a mistake which she has regretted ever since and which she has never shared with anyone, not even her husband. Through the years, Elizabeth has locked herself up in a trap of her own making, desperate to share her burden with someone else but knowing that she would and could never be understood.
"What have I done?"
But someone, somewhere knows what she did back then and this person is getting closer to her, threatening to expose her secret and destroy the life she has so painstakingly built. Who is this person? Why would they want to do this to her? Will she be able to keep the secret locked for much longer? What would she do and what would happen to her and her family when the truth is exposed?
In this book the victim is the killer and the killer is the victim. Try figure that one out!! Yes, just mind-blowing!
As I was reading, I was constantly on tenterhooks, biting my nails and rooting for Elizabeth, knowing that even though what she had done was wrong, she wasn't entirely guilty. I know that many people, including myself, would probably have done the same thing if found in her situation. But I'm not sure I would have been able to cover up such a secret for so long. We are told what happened at the beginning, so we're aware all along what Elizabeth feels guilty about.
The bulk of the story concentrates on Elizabeth in the present day, as she's slowly but surely cracking under the pressure of harbouring such a terrible secret. As she lives constantly in fear, watching behind her shoulders, waiting for the day when someone completes the puzzle and she's made to pay for what she did. As she's secretly struggling to cope with her burden, avoiding the triggers that could make her lose control while at the same time keeping everything hidden from everyone, especially her ever more suspicious husband.
This book is a very well-written, heart-pounding, nerve-racking read that kept me on the edge of my seat till the very end. The plot may not be one of the fastest and there may not be any exceptional twists, however the tension is constant throughout and it keeps increasing till the end. I was desperate to find out how it will all end, what would happen to Elizabeth, whether she would be exposed or if she would be made to pay dearly for what she did.
I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it. I just can't believe this is the author's debut thriller!
Cynthia Clark was born and brought up in Malta, where she graduated in Communications and went to work for a daily newspaper. She has since lived in the US, where she worked as a writer in online business journals. She and her husband now live in London with their twin daughters.