Lucy Clarke’s fifth novel is a suspense-filled psychological thriller that introduces us to author Ellie Fielding. After the phenomenal and almost overnight success of her debut novel Ellie is living the dream – from her cliff-top house she posts regular social media updates showing the beautiful sea views from the perfect writing room that overlooks the sea. But how much of it is real? In fact, Ellie’s husband has left the dream home that she can no longer afford and she has such severe writing block that her long-anticipated second novel is looking like it will never appear – and that means the huge advance from the publisher will need to be paid back. Bang goes the fantastic career, the house, the image – the lot.
While ignoring these worrying truths, Ellie heads off on a pre-arranged writing retreat, and to try and make a little extra cash, she decide to ‘AirB&B’ her home for the few weeks she will be away in France. When she comes back things feel odd…and she can’t quite put her finger on why. From this point, things get weird and Ellie, trapped in a nightmare that she doesn’t understand, begins to get increasingly paranoid. There were a few things that happened that seemed unlikely and a few too many red herrings for my liking – but on the whole, the plot is well written and the reveal was clever and surprising.