Readers can add Renee Knight to their growing list of UK authors who will keep you flipping pages and waiting their next book in this startling thriller. DISCLAIMER presents a very creative and original premise. What if you picked up a book to read, only to find a hidden part of your life documented in the guise of fiction, down to the clothes you were wearing on a specific day, and that book ends with your horrific death?
This is the nightmare that hits Catherine Ravenscroft, a documentary filmmaker, which also happens to be Knight’s background. Catherine and her lawyer husband have just moved house to downsize. Their only child, 25 year-old Nicholas, is finally living on his own and they are still unpacking boxes when Catherine comes across the book that will change all of their lives. The Perfect Stranger is the pseudo-fictinal account of a day Catherine thought she’d stored in her memory banks, written by one Stephen Brigstocke.
Suddenly the tension ratchets keenly, as the details are parsed out of the incident she’d rather forget: a vacation to Spain whene her husband was called home early, leaving her and young Nick alone for a few days to finish the trip; the young stranger who seemed fascinated with her; the day her son almost lost his life.
Many of the chapters are told from the point of view of Stephen, the man who has published the book that destroys Catherine’s life, and we see his reasons clearly as the story unfolds. His wife, although long dead, extends her influence, as does his son.
Just when you think you know what has happened, everything turns and twists into something else entirely. The nightmare extends and extends again as every aspect of Catherine’s life becomes infected by the story of those lost days in Spain. Her husband turns on her; then her son; then her colleagues.
This was a book Auntie M found tough to put down. It creeps into you much in the manner of S. J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep. You’ll be waiting for Knight’s next one~ and for the film shortly to go into production. But read the book first. It will grab you all the way through to its unsettling ending. A terrific psychological thriller the centers on revenge, guilt, grief and hiding the truth.