This compelling book tells the story of two rather unpleasant people in a dysfunctional relationship. Jodi Brett and Todd Gilbert have been together for 20 years but (and here's the rub) they're not married. The reluctance to commit is all Jodi's, a decision she comes to regret when their relationship breaks down and she becomes "nothing more than an ex-girlfriend whose free ride is now over".
It could almost be described as the very definition of a psychological thriller. Jodi runs a psychology practice from their home, but seems to spend a lot of time giving her clients nicknames based on their particular mental quirks and relating the lurid details of their consultations to Todd. It's clear very early on in the book that their relationship is troubled, despite the shiny veneer they present to the outside world and the breakdown of their relationship and Jodi's efforts to salvage her comfortable lifestyle form the crux of the story. Todd is a serial philanderer (basically he's a total creep), but I found it hard to feel any sympathy for Jodi (can't go into too much detail without spoiling the plot). You won't like these people, but if your experience is anything like mine you'll feel compelled to keep following their self-destructive behaviour - the phrase `car crash TV' springs to mind.
The inevitable comparisons have been made with Gone Girl and Before I Go To Sleep - I actually preferred it to both of these books. It's also been compared to the Slap and I concur with this for the reasons mentioned above (dislikeable characters hell bent on self-destruction etc). It's not perfect - Jodi's friend Alison's rather extreme suggestion to help her out of her predicament, and Jody's willingness to go along with it, seemed a little far-fetched (in fact their friendship in general didn't really ring true) and Todd is a bit too much of a two-dimensional slimeball to be totally believable - but on the whole I was really impressed with this dark and disturbing novel and was very sad to hear that Susan Harrison died shortly before its publication.
36 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?