review by showhost
This is a detour from his excellent Dr Hunter series but still a really good suspense thriller.
The story begins with Sean, who is on the run in France from whom or what we don’t know. He is injured in an animal trap. He lies wounded, shouting for help through the night and into the next morning. He is barely conscious when two young women find him and take him back to the isolated farmhouse they live in with their father. The father Arnaud, is fearsome and very hostile, he does not like strangers around the farm. Sean is put into the loft of the barn to recuperate, where he is tended by the two women. The trap door to the loft is initially locked and Sean is not sure if he is a prisoner. But eventually the door is unlocked and Sean starts to do some odd jobs around the farm while he is waiting for his foot to heal. The isolation suits his purpose. But there is always tension around the house and the younger of the two sisters resents the older. When Sean accompanies Matilde to town he is aware of the intense dislike towards the family from the villagers.The book jumps back to London to Seans life before going to France, so eventually we discover why Sean is on the run.
We also gradually understand why there is so much venom towards the family and who the father of Matildes baby son is.
This had shades of Misery (remember that one, written by Stephen King, the author who is injured in a car accident and becomes a patient/prisoner in the house of a psychotic fan). It was a page turner and soon got my full attention.
I would definitely recommend Simon beckett to crime thriller fans – but if you are trying him for the first time then start with the Dr Hunter series as these are pacier.