review by showhost
A good psychological thriller. If you enjoyed ‘girl on the train’ by Paula Hawkins or ‘I let you go’ by Clare Mackintosh you will enjoy this.
Catherine is married to Robert and they have a grown up son, Nicholas. Catherine works in the film documentary industry. They have just moved house and found their son a flat so he can be independent near them in London.
Catherine notices a book which she doesn’t remember buying. The Perfect Stranger. As she starts to read it she realises it is based on her, on an event which happened when Nicholas was five. An event she had kept to herself. The only other person who knew of this event is dead so how has this happened. She is scared, confused and puzzled, where had the book come from her - husband and son don’t have knowledge of it.
It would seem it was sent to their old address and forwarded on to them by the new occupants. The only thing they could tell them was that an elderly gentleman had dropped it around for Catherine.
Stephen Brigstocke, a retired teacher, who’s wife has just died finds an unfinished manuscript written by his wife. Their life had fallen apart when their son had died 20 years ago in a tragic accident. As well as the manuscript he finds some photos taken by their son before he died. Photos of a young woman scantily clad in provocative pose. The photos relate to the unfinished manuscript. Stephen is determined to get the manuscript published and for the truth to come out about the woman it is based upon. He wants retribution. He wants the world to know just what the successful Catherine Ravenscroft is really like.
As more copies of the book are sent to Nicholas & Robert (her son & husband) and then the photos, their family life falls apart and events kept hidden for years are forced out.
It was a good tense, psychological thriller with twists and turns. It had a slow start but a page turning second half. Although it kept going back and forwards 20 years and from Stephen to Catherine it was quite easy to keep up. I can recommend this book.