Lucy Atkin's novel The Other Child caught my eye and introduced me to a new (to me) author.
British single mom Tess falls head over heels for American born surgeon Greg. When he is offered a promotion in America, Tess and Greg decide to marry before moving to the US. That and there's a new brother or sister on the way for her son Joe.
But everything is decidedly not rosy when they arrive in Boston. The house is too large and sterile. The neighbourhood is like a showcase, the neighbours are standoffish, if not downright rude, Tess is alone much of the time and Joe is having trouble assimilating. But things only go downhill from there - is Greg having an affair with the neighbour? Who is that dark figure she sees standing staring at her house? Has someone been in the house? Tess thought she knew her husband well, but now begins to doubt him - and starts looking into his past. And what she finds begs the question: 'How well do you know your husband?'
This is the kind of book I love to read. You know - if it was a movie, you'd be yelling at the actor - 'Don't go in the basement!". That's what I wanted to do - yell at Tess - 'Can't you see he's lying!' But no, Tess keeps making excuses for his behaviour, for what might be going on, for the little white lies...
There were a few convenient plot devices that I questioned - it's my pragmatic nature. But, I let it go and kept reading. I wanted to keep turning pages - it's that kind of book. What will happen next? Is Tess really in danger? What secrets is Greg hiding? The tension builds with every new chapter.
I was a bit unhappy with some of the choices Tess made regarding Joe's care. The ending isn't quite what I imagined the final pages would bring - I would have liked a different outcome. Even so, I found The Other Child quite entertaining. Read an excerpt of The Other Child.
You can connect with Lucy Atkins on her website and follow her on Twitter. Watch for Lucy Atkins' new book, The Night Visitor, coming in June 2017. I'll be picking it up.