Ava’s life in the coastal South appears nearly perfect after her recent marriage to the powerful and handsome Mitchell Carson. She loves her husband and the family they have created. Even Mitchell’s young son from a previous marriage, Jack, with his superhero ambitions, can’t imagine life without Ava. Outwardly, Mitchell appears to be a caring husband and doting father, but as Ava soon discovers, there is a dark side to Mitchell Carson that she never imagined.
When Graham Thomas, a lawyer with a secret past, stumbles into Ava’s life, everything changes. Mitchell’s jealous streak emerges after an innocent encounter between Graham and Ava, and Mitchell soon convinces himself that Ava is unfaithful. When Mitchell starts divorce proceedings and a custody war, Jack is caught in the middle, which soon makes him question Ava’s pure intentions. As Ava searches for a way to save her family she begins to uncover her husband’s secret past and capacity for unhinged jealousy and rage.
My Review: When I first chose this novel for review, I had absolutely no idea that this was Laura McNeill’s debut novel. Now that I am aware of this fact, I am even more impressed with her work.
The premise of this story sounded intriguing, and it definitely lived up to it’s description. I would describe it as a psychological thriller, and a very good one at that! The book switches between the perspectives of all the main characters, so you get a wonderful variety of viewpoints. This book does a really good job of introducing you to the characters, so even though the narration is shared by multiple protagonists, you are never left feeling confused about whose perspective is currently being shared. The author does a tremendous job of gradually intensifying the story, building it piece by piece and keeping you intrigued throughout.
I loved the character of Ava. She was such a strong woman and her love for her children was fierce, pure and selfless. Graham is an intensely creepy character, and the author does a great job unraveling him throughout the story. My favorite character had to be Jack. He’s such a brave, strong little boy and he was definitely a hero in this story.
This book is subtle in it’s intensity, perfectly timed as it develops and thoroughly engaging. It will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. It is a fast-paced book, and very hard to put down. I could have easily read it in one sitting, if I had the opportunity to do so. I am rather glad that I was able to savor it over a few days time though. I really can’t say enough good things about this book! It is well written, satisfyingly chilling and completely captivating. I highly recommend this author, and she will definitely be one to watch.
*I received a copy of this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author
Laura McNeil is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she’s not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family.