Charlie Tyler created a story on the backbone of what many trauma survivors know: sometimes what you’ve believed to be your truth turns out to be a lie. We are dropped into a kitchen, a young girl named Lily returning home. It seems like any other teenager’s life; the parent asking where the young girl has been, telling her she’s late. But what we find out from the first page is that Lily is not the average teenager and Grace, who is pretending to be her mother, has murdered a young girl.
This thriller is uniquely told from multiple points of view. We know who the killers are, but the real mystery lies in why and how they plan to get away with it. Because it opens this way, it feels dangerous, as if Grace will turn around and realize we’re there, too, witnessing the crime like a fly on the wall.
There were moments I questioned the validity of trauma. Perhaps not the trauma itself, but how it is portrayed through the writing. I don’t claim to be a psychiatrist or therapist of any kind, but I did stop at several points and wonder how someone with extreme trauma could suddenly be thinking clearly after a major triggering episode. There are moments of unnecessary exposition, and times where I felt like the character Grace especially didn’t sound as smart and calculating as I wanted her to be.
While I did have issues with the way phobias are described and felt like the overall plot to frame another character seemed thin, I did think the points of view were creative and I wanted to know more about Lily’s character and what actually happened to her as a child. Tyler did a great job of creating suspense and keeping me engaged in the story.