Charlie just wants to be forgotten but everyone else wants to know her story…
The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She has bought the crumbling cottage that has lain empty for over a decade, and she’s going to make it her home. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for a few days. She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret.
Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. That lie cost her everything.
And now she has the chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really payed the price for what she did.
– My Thoughts –
Steffi Finn fell in love with Lee Fisher, then she went to jail because of him. Now, years later, she’s been released and she wants to start over in a new town with a new identity. Steffi is now Charlie, living in a sleepy little village in Cornwall. No-one here seems to recognise her and life seems good but not for long. As Charlie starts to renovate her house, she feels that she’s being watched. Accidents start happening every other day and Charlie can’t think who might be set on harming her. Her ex Lee Fisher is in jail and any other enemies she’s acquired because of him shouldn’t be able to find the “new” her….right?
Written in alternate timelines and dual POVs, we learn what kind of a person Steffi was before she became Charlie. We see how Lee controlled her and how Steffi couldn’t believe that he was a serial killer. It kinda reminded me of Ted Bundy..Lee Fisher was charming and manipulative sure, but he didn’t fit the profile of a serial killer(not at first glance, at least). Steffi was a victim of Lee’s too and it’ll break your heart reading her character arc.
The pacing was good even if I had a bit of trouble getting into it during the beginning. The setting of the village where Steffi/Charlie settled and the uneasiness she felt every moment was perfectly written. I liked the unpredictability of the twists as the author kept my mind working to find out who Steffi/Charlie’s stalker was and why was he/she(/they) were trying to kill her.
Overall, I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a slow-burn thriller with a captivating female lead. This story literally gives a terrifying meaning to the phrase “Love is blind.”
Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review and for including me in the blog tour!
– About the Author –
JO JAKEMAN was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Safe House is her second novel and Sticks and Stones was her debut thriller.
Thank you for reading! Do you like reading thrillers? If you’ve read Safe House or the author’s debut, then I’d love to know what you thought!