Published: 20th April 2017
Publisher: Little Brown
When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that. Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make…
Zoe Walker is spending her Friday evening travelling home from work, locating her favourite spot to sit on the tube and reading the local newspaper when she spots herself being advertised, but the thing is, she hasn’t signed up to any dating site. Why would she when she’s in a happy relationship? The narrative opens quite smoothly with the readers being given the opportunity to learn about Zoe’s daily life as a full time working Mum whilst juggling a demanding boss and two children who have very different career goals. I found myself to be settling into Zoe’s routine relatively easy as she was quite the open character whose heart was always worn on her sleeve. Readers also learn about another character Kelly, who assists Zoe in discovering who is behind the advertisements and why certain women are linked to them. The moment I opened the book, I knew I’d be hooked to the plot as Clare’s writing invited me in and left me always wanting more by the end of each chapter.
“Routine is comforting to you. It’s familiar, reassuring. Routine makes you feel safe. Routine will kill you.”
The plot progresses in a suitable manner; the information isn’t rushed, the game doesn’t happen too quickly and readers are constantly left wanting more. The book itself is split into three sides of the story; Zoe the target, Kelly the police officer and the person behind the website. These different perspectives all brought something brilliant to the plot in order to keep the chase alive which I found to be completely fascinating and once the website code had been cracked, it really was game on. As well as Zoe being the target, the narrative does focus on her family life throughout a big chunk of the story; her relationship with a man 14 years older, her two 20-something children, her ex-husband who loans her money and her best friend who runs a café empire. All of these aspects of her life made Zoe quite an enjoyable character to read about but I couldn’t help but think of whether it was to put readers off the scent or to continually drop clues onto our laps?
“I could be more than just a match-maker. I’d be a facilitator for desires hidden so deep inside they’re barely acknowledged.”
As the plot draws to a close, nobody knows who is behind the website and you never truly know until the final page. The big reveal was nothing like I thought it would be as once you suspected one person, you suspected everyone but even up until the last few sentences, you can’t help but be continually drawn in. The atmosphere in which Clare created was utterly magnificent and once part of the twist was revealed, it was nerve racking to read about and the events played out clearly in my imagination. I really wish I could say more about the book but it’s one that you just need to read for yourself as the plot as been so brilliantly written and the magnificent way in which Clare surprises the readers with the final element of the puzzle is just spectacular.