Book Review: Her Every Fear

Mar 13, 2018

I'm back with yet another thriller book review! Are you surprised? I've heard a lot of buzz on Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson, so I figured it needed to be my next read for 2018. The cover is amazing! Unfortunately, I have to report that the beautiful cover and hype did not meet my expectations. Here's a short summary from Goodreads:

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves--until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

Pros: This book was an overall entertaining read. The story was structured to be told in multiple perspectives, so it was fun to see the same story being told in distinct mindsets and time frames. It was a clever technique to keep the mystery going until the final revelation. Her Every Fear is a story of unreliable narrators and unfortunate assumptions. This always leads to added mystery and suspense. As a thriller read, there were many moments where I felt panic for the characters. There is a lot of gruesome murder, psychotic behavior, and unnerving doubt. All the fun things! And though the ending was a letdown, I found the overall story to be enjoyable in some ways.

Cons: As mentioned above, the ending was a letdown. Totally anti-climatic. The story was set up to be a complex journey for Kate, yet the ending was cliche. It dismissed the first half of the book into a wrap-up for a character who I thought was going to display more depth. Now I'm going to be ironic here because I mentioned in the "Pros" that I enjoyed the multiple perspectives in this story. I also disliked it because it created so many coincidences. The whole storyline fed on coincidences which made it extremely unbelievable. Some don't mind outrageous storylines. That's fine. For me, it was shallow.

Overall: If you're looking for a murder mystery with many perspectives, time jumps, and flashy fun, Her Every Fear might be just right for you. If you're looking for a thriller with depth and complexity, give this one a pass.

Personal Rating Score: 3.5/5

Have you read this book? Tell me what you loved (or hated) about it in the comments below, or continue the discussion on Instagram where I hang out the most!

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