This is a psychological thriller that certainly kept me guessing, one of those books where there appears to be a plethora of suspects for the scary narrator who we know has killed before and will probably not stop until they are caught.
Livy Jackson’s younger sister Kara was murdered when she was just 18 leaving Livy feeling that she should have done more to protect her. After her murder, Kara’s friend, Julia, became Livy’s friend, a friendship that remained close despite their dissimilar lives where Livy became a homemaker and mother whilst Julia lived an exciting life with numerous short-lived relationships. Years later Julia is found dead, alone in her flat and Livy begins to realise that her belief that they told each other everything simply wasn’t true.
The story is told from Livy’s viewpoint and the fault-lines in her marriage to Will are exposed right from the start. The couple have a moody pre-teen daughter Hannah as well as a less complicated son Zack and their household is easily recognisable of a myriad empty cereal boxes, tears and slammed doors.
After Julia’s death Livy starts to investigate, she is sure despite all the evidence that someone was involved in her death and she feels she needs to honour her friend’s memory. Early on in the story we hear from the killer themselves in a truly chilling fashion, they themselves pronounce themselves a psychopath with no attempt to justify their actions except that it was to fulfil an urge. Each section from the killer is simply headed with the name of a victim, the description of their murder and boasting of how no evidence was left behind. Livy meanwhile is in turn obsessing over an affair Will had six years previously and struggling without her best friend to support her. She hooks up with Julia’s latest boyfriend who is also doubtful that the vibrant and feisty woman he had dated would kill herself despite the fact that this is what her family believe.
The plot was good and it certainly kept me guessing as I became convinced that it was one suspect, then another until fairly close to the reveal I worked out who it was. Livy’s character was fairly bland, she seemed to lack oomph so I took a while to warm to her and I struggled to understand how this woman was so close to Julia. Julia’s character is a conundrum which was never resolved, estranged from her mother who seemed entirely happy to believe she committed suicide as did her downright horrible brother and his equally awful wife, who all seemed to know a different Julia than the one Livy knew the reason for the hostility was left unresolved.
Once the scene has been set the book picks up pace with enough action to keep this reader turning the pages. I like the fact that all the different types of relationships that define our lives are represented in a realistic way. This is the sort of book that is best read in big chunks which will allow you to immerse yourself in Livy’s investigation.
I’d like to thank the publishers Simon & Schuster UK for giving me a copy of this book in return for this honest review. Trust in Me was published on 11 September 2014.