This is the second book I’ve read this year which opens with a car accident resulting in death, the first being Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline. Rachel Teller, our narrator, is a woman who was returning to her husband and their ‘perfect’ life in the Brighton countryside having just left the bed of another man, when she rounds a bend and hits a man. Fear of the consequences particularly as she had consumed a fair amount of alcohol in the preceding hours, she decides to continue on her journey home. As Rachel is to find, removing herself from the scene isn’t going to erase her horror when she contemplates what she has done or the fear of what will happen if anyone finds out.
Rachel’s marriage to David is the type of strange marriage that could only exist between the pages of a psychological thriller and I failed to understand why she stayed, despite being presented with various reasons with none of them feeling authentic enough to warrant putting up with that amount of misery. David is presented as one of those particularly cruel men who act only out of their own need to be superior, even to his wife and business partner. Be warned if you don’t like books where the main character isn’t likable, in this book you will struggle to find a single person you’d want to spend more than five minutes with!
Fortunately I don’t mind disliking book characters and this book starts off strongly and I wanted to understand more about the Teller’s marriage, their friends and the super successful business that they’d built from scratch and the fact that there was a twin strand of the story back to Rachel’s childhood in the 1970’s only served to pique my interest. This breath-taking start was diluted as the book continued when the marriage unravelled and the story became less taut during the centre section with seemingly bizarre actions being taken purely to progress the narrative. Despite this wobble the author soon got the story back on track to a satisfactory dénouement although my initial opinion was that both characters really needed to meet a grizzly and untimely death for being so foul.
I have a feeling this one will be popular with those readers looking for a domestic psychological thriller with the emphasis on the thriller and is a perfect read for those times when you need to remind yourself that those people you know aren’t so bad after all.
I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in return for my honest review. The Liar’s Chair will be published on 15 January 2015 by Macmillan.