Safe With Me by K L Slater. Book Review
Anna is a young woman psychologically scarred by events thirteen years before. As a result of this she lives alone. Her elderly neighbour, Joan Peat, whom Anna has known since childhood, is the only person she allows to get close to her.
One day Anna witnesses a road accident and the past comes flooding back. The driver is the woman responsible for Anna’s current state of mind. It’s time for payback, and the way in is through the victim of the accident, Liam. Sticking close to him means Anna can keep in touch with the police investigations and wait for the right moment for her revenge.
This is K L Slater’s first outing into this crime genre, although she is no stranger to a plot with suspense. To call a psychological thriller Safe With Me provides an unsettling narrative all of its own, even before you begin reading the book, which is fast-paced with plenty going on in it to keep a reader glued to their seat. It is a title that is as unreliable as the book’s main protagonist, Anna, who relates the story in the first person, making for an intense experience, constantly leaving the reader wondering at what point Anna will go completely off the rails. But the further I got into the book, the voyeur in me began to take a back seat and my maternal instincts wanted to get in there and do a bit of TLC, because quite frankly that’s exactly what Anna needs.
The other characters are in third person, giving them distance from the reader and Anna. This also made it very difficult to tell what they were thinking. But in one of the many interesting writerly techniques used by the author to play with the reader’s head, Joan Peat feels very close to first person.
Dialogue coupled with actions describes the particular dynamics of the relationships Anna has with each of the characters, pulling the reader this way and that in a spiral of indecision as to where the plot might ultimately be heading. Safe With Me is definitely the literary equivalent of wondering whether someone is, or isn’t, hiding round the next corner waiting to jump out yelling “Boo”. There are certainly some very good twists in the tale.
You might not feel safe with Anna, but as far as psychological thrillers are concerned, you are safe in the knowledge that this is an entertaining read.
Safe with Me was courtesy of Bookouture via NetGalley