Ruth Ware’s debut novel is a climactic mix of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Paula Hawkins’ Girl on the Train. The main character (and narrator) of this novel, Leonora, runs headlong into the story from the first page. The story begins with a violent flashback which leaves the reader in suspense.
In the first chapter we discover that ‘Lee’ is in hospital with serious injuries but it becomes clear that her memory is very vague and she is struggling to recall what’s happened to her. Leonora is both the main character and the narrator of the story. She rather reminds me of Paula Hawkins character, Rachel, in Girl on the Train. Both women are narrators who struggle to remember recent violent events in their lives, though for very different reasons.
In the second chapter we are taken back further in time to the beginning of the story. We learn that Lee had been invited to an old friend’s hen party. She receives an email from the Maid of Honour, Flo, inviting her to her childhood best friend’s hen party. The title of the novel, taken from a children’s tale, as well as the guests being gathered together reminds me of And Then There Were None. The sense of unease is successfully being planted in the readers’ minds.
After the second chapter, the narrator alternates between recounting her tale of terror and going back to the present moment in her hospital bed where she attempts, and gradually manages, to piece together what has happened to her. This culminates in Leonora realising something so obvious that she kicks herself (not literally) for not realising the truth years ago.
If you are a fan of Agatha Christie as well as modern psychological crime thrillers, then this is a must read!
If you want to know more about the author, please look at http://www.ruthware.com/ 🙂