The Life She Wants by Mel Sherratt
From behind the curtains, Sarah spotted the man coming out of the house, followed by the woman. It would be strange seeing people in the property. She wondered how much it would change their lives. For now, she would bide her time and hopefully get to know them better. She needed to gain their trust.
When I met Richard, I fell for him instantly. He was able to give me everything I had always wanted, the dream house, security and above all, love like I’d never known. We lived a quiet life in the middle of nowhere; we didn’t need anyone else.
So, when the empty house next door is sold, I am wary. Will our neighbours invade the perfect life Richard has built for us? As soon as I meet Juliette and Danny, I am reassured. Overwhelmed by grief after the death of their young daughter, they have moved in search of a quiet life and a chance to start again. Over dinner one evening, we hit it off instantly and I know they are just the neighbours we need.
All is well until Juliette spots a young girl in our garden. Richard convinces her that she is seeing things, that it’s the grief taking over. But Juliette won’t let it go. She is sure she saw a child. She believes that Richard is threatening her. She starts to think that I’m not safe.
I need to convince Juliette that she’s imagining it. I need to keep Richard happy. If I am to protect everything I have built for myself, she must never find out the truth.
That my perfect life is built on the deadliest lie.
A heart-stopping psychological thriller with a truly brilliant twist, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, T.M. Logan and K.L. Slater.
About the Author
Mel Sherratt has been shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer's Association) Dagger in Library Award. She says her inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lisa Jewell, Mandasue Heller and Clare Mackintosh.
To date, she’s sold 1.8 million books. All sixteen of her crime novels have been bestsellers, each one climbing into the Kindle UK top 10 and she’s had several number ones.
If I’m going to be brutally honest, even with the intriguing epilogue, I wasn’t sure when the book got going. I didn’t feel an immediate connection with any of the characters and was going to give it up within the first few chapters, yes, I really am that fickle. But something made me push through and by goodness, I was so glad that I did for it wasn’t long before I fell in love with the story, hook, line and sinker. It’s very subtle in its storytelling and the Antagonist isn’t immediately obvious which actually I thoroughly appreciated as with most thrillers the storylines can be very samey.
Juliette and her husband Danny lost their daughter Emily the previous year when she died unexpectantly suffering from meningitis. With the impact of this huge lose in their lives, they decide to leave London and all of its memories to travel to the countryside to the sleepy village of Mapleton where they move into a large country cottage with acres of woodland next door to peculiar couple Richard and Sarah.
There’s no doubt from the get go that Richard and Sarah are hiding a dark secret and whilst Danny is finishing off his business in London before relocating properly, Juliette is left alone to get to know the area and in particular their new neighbours. It is definitely the subtle creepiness that makes for this compelling suspense and because it is so subtle, it’s impossible to know what is around the corner which I thoroughly appreciated.
But when the reality of Sarah’s position ad most importantly, Richard’s wife Louise, who left him with their daughter, two years previously comes out, the gravity of the situation and the safety of Sarah becomes of paramount importance as Juliette is tasked with uncovering the truth.
As I got more imbedded into the story and the backgrounds particularly of Sarah and Louisa, the plot definitely thickens.
As it neared its conclusion, it did stray from the subtlety that I had enjoyed thus far but with a killer twist laid out to get me thinking.
All in all, a good read.
Book available for pre-order – release date – 29th November 2021: -
Date of review: 10.11.2021