- About the Author
- On Active Service
This book falls straight into the category of a “page turner”. The style of writing took a bit of getting used to: it is very American and written conversationally and colloquially, with some expressions and references I didn’t fully understand.
It’s a long book and the story starts slowly: we start with Nick’s voice, which introduces us to the main protagonists: Nick, his wife Amy and Nick’s twin sister Margo (“Go”) and we are given enough back story to let us know how we have arrived at this exact position in their lives. We then go back in time to 2005 with a diary entry by Amy, describing how she met Nick. To begin with I found this constant shifting back and forth between Amy and Nick rather confusing but you have to bear with it and after a while it makes sense. I’ve always liked books you have to work at a bit, and with this one you definitely need to have your wits about you.
It’s interesting to note that as the book progresses the time scale between each entry becomes shorter until finally the two stories are told simultaneously.
The blurb has told us that Amy disappears and this duly happens next. To begin with we find ourselves firmly on Nick’s side: shocked, upset, confused, but Amy’s entries begin to make us question Nick’s motives. Police suspicion also falls on him and as we discover more about him and Amy and their marriage we wonder who is telling the truth.
But this is more than a mystery thriller: it’s the story of a relationship, and like all relationships it hinges on power and control and on who has the upper hand. As a dissection of a marriage/relationship turning sour it’s a masterpiece, written with insight and perception and brilliant observation of human nature.
It’s a book that keeps you guessing. It’s hard to put down. Each chapter ends with a “hook”, willing you on to read the next. The plot twists and turns. Just as you think you’re getting somewhere, something quite unexpected happens.
As I said, it’s a long book and two-thirds of the way through there was a completely unexpected change of plot and I began to wonder just how much more could happen.
The ending, when it came, was something of an anti-climax, though it’s hard to know exactly what else could happen.
I bought this book at Bristol Airport on my way on holiday. My husband and I both read it and nearly two months later we find ourselves still discussing aspects of it. We’ve just watched the film. It was interesting to see how they dealt with it. Certainly I’d recommend the book to anyone, even if you don’t usually read mystery thrillers clomid tablets 100mg.
Bethany Askew is the author of seven novels:
The Time Before, The World Within, Out of Step, Counting the Days, Poppy’s Seed, Three Extraordinary Years and The Two Saras.
She has also written a short story, The Night of the Storm, and she writes poetry.
Two more women’s fiction books have been accepted for publication in 2020 and 2021 respectively and she is currently working on a new novel.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, music, theatre, walking, Pilates, dancing and voluntary work.
Bethany is married and lives in Somerset.