Primary Genre(s): Thriller, Suspense
Published: 18 Jun 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
Page count: 347
My Format: eARC from NetGalley
Ending: Predictable and odd
Would I recommend it: Probably not
Commission Link: Buy on Amazon
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
Synopsis from Goodreads
Anna Klein is ready to return to work as a literary agent for the first time since having children. She and her husband, Josh, decide to hire a live-in nanny with some trepidation, but all their misgivings disappear as soon as they meet Oaklynn Durst. She has stellar references, a calm disposition, and a natural way with children. Not to mention their kids simply adore her.
But not long after Oaklynn arrives, the children start to come down with the most puzzling illnesses and inexplicable injuries. When the maternal Oaklynn is there to comfort everyone, Anna can’t help feeling a little eclipsed. And suspicious. Her husband and friends assure her that her anxieties are getting the best of her—Oaklynn is perfect. But Anna’s not so sure…
As she delves into Oaklynn’s past, she discovers too late that the woman who has been living in her house is not at all who she claims to be. But Oaklynn’s not the only one who has been lying. And when everyone’s dark secrets are forced into the light, the consequences may just turn deadly.
The premise of this book was intriguing enough for me to request it on NetGalley to read and review. However, the execution of the story fell a little flat for me. Here are my pros and cons:
- I’ve always been drawn to stories like this where a nanny or another house guest disrupts things, sometimes irrevocably. The theme is kind of a play on the home intruder type stories, only this time the intruder is invited. It can make for a very unsettling story.
- There were enough little cliffhangers at the beginning of the book that I maintained sufficient interest to keep reading.
- The book was written in first and third person with multiple points of view. I personally found that distracting and odd.
- The story felt a bit overwritten and padded. There were a lot of weird subplots that didn’t contribute to the story at all and slowed down the pacing of the entire book.
- Oaklynn wasn’t really weird enough or scary enough for me to stay engaged. None of the characters were developed much and I didn’t really connect to any of them.
- I figured out every single “gotcha” well before they were revealed.
- The ending of the story got really strange and a bit implausible and ultimately tried to make some kind of oddly placed statement on racism that simply didn’t jive with the rest of the book in my opinion.
This was a slow-burn thriller that ending up being too slow and not very thrilling. Everything was a little too pedestrian to be effective or engaging and overall it felt a little messy and erratic. I don’t think this will be a very memorable book for me.
Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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