An impostor story that blew my mind! What a crazy ride this mesmerizing suspense thriller was in tackling an extreme case of identity theft, and the thrill ride left me breathless with excitement. I kept asking myself what the heck is going on here? The “impostor” twist gets taken to a new level, with chilling ironies. The story was clever, unsettling, and proved once again that the author (a pseudonym of Winter Renshaw) continues to have more thriller tricks up her sleeve. On edge for most of it, I was delightfully sucked into every fresh angle and crazy dip that took the story in wild and unexpected directions. The twists and turns never stopped, as I frantically whipped through the pages for answers. POVs and revelations kept shifting and left me constantly off-kilter. The slow wind-up followed by the unwind of an inventive plot was deliciously devious and complex, and everything spiraled in faster and faster free-fall to conclusion.
“It never fails to amaze me all the things people do when they think no one’s watching, the things they think they can get away with”
An assault left Brienne Dougray with severe headaches, memory loss and blackouts. Fear of her still-at-large assailant has made her a recluse in her monstrous home. Her friends ghosted her as a literal pariah after the incident, though she has no idea why. Worse, there’s a lookalike woman in town openly living as Brienne, and using her name. But, who is the real Brienne and why are false memories more real than the supposedly true ones she can’t remember? No one – not even the police – seems to take her claims of an impostor seriously, nor are they doing much to find her attacker. Instead, she is treated like a stalker. If not for her recent boarder – Dr. Niall Emberlin – lonely Brienne would lose her mind. But, she doesn’t even know the worst of it … yet.
This noirish thriller had me off-balance in all the best ways. The beginning strikes just the right unsettling chord of introducing Brienne and her situation, never giving us the full picture, while teasing us with tidbits that slowly help unravel this mind boggling mystery. What is truth, and which, if any, characters are reliable? I’m always a sucker for the unreliable narrator angle, but don’t think you have all, or any, of the details of this puzzler figured out because the imaginative story keeps shifting focus and revelations at a snappy pace.
The multiple POVs were deliciously manipulative. And once the answers start flowing, I had to pick my jaw up off the ground because I never imagined the story would be so intricate in motivation and detail. While I was busy screaming in my head at the actions (and sometimes foolish mistakes) of characters, I was still enormously entertained by how ingeniously crafted the story was. There was a very noticeable flaw in logic in a scene/dialogue that I can’t mention without giving too much away, but that mistake wasn’t enough to spoil the story for me in any way. The plot starts getting real and gritty once distractions occur, and over-confidence leads to sloppy, mushrooming mistakes and possible exposure of the truth.
The concept is brilliant, and the plotting insanely clever, along with my love for the author’s writing style. Just let yourself go and accept the logic and dynamics of this generally satisfying thriller. It wasn’t perfect, but it was extremely entertaining and I can’t even say a thing about the most riveting character that blew me away the most!
“When I was you, I learned about the person I was, the person I wanted to be, and the person I didn’t want to be anymore. And after meeting you today, I learned about the person I hope to become more like someday”