Desert Isle Keeper

Her Every Fear

Peter Swanson

When I first read the synopsis of Her Every Fear, the latest thriller by Peter Swanson, I was a little concerned by the complexity of the synopsis. I love a good, twisty read, but such reads have to make sense, and, given the vague information provided, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fully lose myself in the story. Fortunately, I need not have worried. Mr. Swanson takes his very complicated plot and weaves a riveting story of love, betrayal, and murder.

Kate Priddy’s life is a mess. The brief bouts of anxiety she experienced all throughout her childhood have morphed into debilitating panic attacks. True, she survived her psychotic ex-boyfriend’s attempts to end her life, but just barely. She’s having trouble eating and sleeping, and the idea of going about her daily life is more than she can cope with. Then, Corbin Dell, a cousin she’s never met, reaches out to her via email with a proposition that could change everything. He proposes the two of them swap apartments for six months.

At first, Kate isn’t sure this is a good idea. She can’t imagine living in Boston on her own, but life in London isn’t working for her either, so she eventually agrees. She’ll take up residence in Corbin’s fancy Beacon Hill apartment. Perhaps she’ll take a few art classes to help pass the time, but whatever she decides to do, at least she’ll be in a place that doesn’t hold terrifying memories of her abduction which ended in the suicide of her mentally unstable ex.

For his part, Corbin can’t wait to return to London. He spent some time there during his university days, and no city has ever felt like home to him in the way London does. Kate’s small flat can’t compare with his luxurious apartment, but that’s a small enough price to pay. He’s got a good job now, and maybe he’ll be able to lay a few of his ghosts to rest.

Readers might think it’s only Kate who has demons, but this is definitely not the case. Corbin Dell has a secret past, one he’ll do almost anything to keep hidden. He’d hoped to leave it behind him in London when he moved to Boston, but his secrets followed him there… meaning that now Kate is right in their path.

Almost immediately after arriving at Corbin’s apartment, Kate discovers that one of his neighbors, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. The police question Kate, but she can’t tell them much. She gives them Corbin’s contact details, hoping he’ll be able to provide more information. She’s frightened by this turn of events, but tries hard to keep her cool. The murder can have nothing to do with her – or can it?

Later that same day, Kate meets Alan Cherney, a quiet young man whose apartment windows face those of the now deceased Audrey. Alan confides he’s seen Corbin sneaking in and out of Audrey’s apartment. Then, a man who calls himself Jack accosts Kate on the street. He tells her he’s an old friend of Audrey’s and claims to have information implicating Corbin in her death. Kate doesn’t know what to do, so, as so often happens in fiction, she decides to snoop around to see what she can discover, but her attempts to uncover the truth leave her with even more questions. Why has Corbin told the police he didn’t know Audrey, and why does he have a key to her apartment hidden at the back of one of his drawers?

As Kate continues to look into Audrey’s life and her possible connection to Corbin, she discovers Corbin’s not the only one keeping secrets. Soon, she begins to doubt everyone around her. No one seems to be telling her the truth, and Kate becomes embroiled in a mystery that could claim her very life before it’s all said and done.

The story is told from multiple points of view. Kate is definitely the main character, so we see things mostly through her eyes, but we also spend some time in Corbin’s head, and there are also a few chapters told from Alan’s point of view. There is a fourth narrator as well, but I can’t reveal his identity without giving away part of the mystery.

This is a very dark book, and there are some graphic descriptions of murder that could put some readers off. Even so, I found myself completely captivated. I read late into the night just to find out what really happened to Audrey and how it affected Kate.

If you’re a fan of psychological suspense with really great twists, you’ll definitely want to pick up Her Every Fear. It’s a wonderful exploration of the darkness of the human heart and mind with relatable characters and a plot that will keep you engaged until the very last page.

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Book Details

Reviewer :      Shannon Dyer

Grade :     A-

Sensuality :      N/A

Book Type :     

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