Saturday, May 24, 2014

Until You're Mine

Crown Publishing
Submitted by the publisher
$24.00, 355 pgs

Until You’re Mine by Samantha Hayes is one of those psychological suspense novels that is practically impossible to review without spoilers. I’ve tried not to give anything away but please proceed at your own risk.

James Brown is expecting a child with his second wife, Claudia. James is a submariner in the Royal Navy and absent from home for long stretches. Claudia is a social worker who very much wishes to return to work after the baby is born. They place an ad for a nanny. Zoe Harper answers that ad and is everything you could possibly wish for in a live-in nanny – unmarried and childless, experienced, possessed of glowing references, and Montessori-trained.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, the police are investigating a couple of particularly grisly and macabre murder scenes; someone has been performing amateur C-sections on full-term mothers. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. And there lies the problem.

Until You’re Mine is an average treatment of well-worn material in every respect – until the last chapter. The last chapter blindfolds you and spins you around a few times so that you are completely disoriented. The mother of all plot twists at the very end transforms this book from unoriginal to vertigo-inducing. Can you now call it original because it turns out to be clever? I confess myself conflicted. After all, you have to get through more than 300 pages of undistinguished before you get to the unique. I did not appreciate the tactic. However, if you are a die-hard fan of the psychological thriller formula, then you will enjoy this tale.

No comments:

Post a Comment