Friday, 22 May 2015

Book Review: YOU BELONG TO ME by Samantha Hayes

You Belong To Me

You Belong to Me
Author: Samantha Hayes
Publisher: Random House UK, Cornerstone
Read: May 2015

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Isabel left England to escape her past. For the first time in months, she's beginning to feel safe. But then a letter shatters her world once more as she learns of her parents' death in a car crash. Reluctantly she returns home, unable to shake off the feeling she's being watched but determined not to let fear rule her life any more.

DI Lorraine Fisher is in the middle of a big murder case -- a serial killer is preying on young women. And it seems they had all complained of being stalked. She too is convinced she's being watched.

Are both women victims of their own imagination or is someone out there watching and waiting? And will one of them be next?

My thoughts:

Isabel, a young English woman with a traumatic past, is living and working in a small hotel in India to get away from whatever frightened her so much that it made her flee her home country and leave behind her friends and loved ones without even saying good bye. But when she receives word that her parents have been killed in a horrific car crash with her ex-boyfriend as the driver, she feels that she must return home to pay her last respects, despite her fears of the evil which has kept her away all this time.

In the meantime, DI Lorraine Fisher is investigating the suspicious deaths of two young women who had filed complaints of being stalked by an ex-boyfriend shortly before they died. Lorraine is convinced that there is a connection between the two women, even if her boss doesn’t believe her and instead urges her to drop the investigation and take a holiday. Tired, overworked and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Lorraine feels that she must find justice for the victims, and sets out on her own to follow her leads. Soon her paths cross with Isabel, for whom things have started to go horribly wrong. Could there be a connection between her and the two victims?

It is difficult to review this story without giving away a vital bit of information in the puzzle. Hayes has constructed an intricately woven story of mystery and intrigue which twists and turns and traps the reader in unsuspecting corners before revealing that they have gone down a completely wrong track. I was instantly intrigued by Isabel’s plight and got caught up in the story line and the undercurrent of menace which hung over it. However, I admit that the story became a little bit too far fetched for my liking at times, and I worked very hard to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy it for its entertainment value when all my logical senses screamed – not possible! I did enjoy the psychological element of the thriller, where the main character questions her own sanity and makes the reader question whether the unfolding events are in fact true.

I really liked the character of DI Fisher and was pleased to hear that there are previous books featuring her as investigator – I will make sure to look those up. All in all, You Belong to Me was an enjoyable read which I finished quite quickly. Whilst some details still bug me (no I will not spoil anything here) the overall feeling was one of enjoyment and I give credit to the author for coming up with a very unique and imaginative plot and an ending you won’t see coming. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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