When Stella Simons replies yes to an invitation to a school reunion, there is one person she wants to see, for better or worse: George Wolsey. And although married to Ness, George too has only Stella on his mind when he agrees to the event. Though Stella initially rebuffs George's advances, they soon fall head-first into an affair, but what follows is not the happy-ever-after either of them had imagined.
Whilst I've loved Kantaria's previous novels, this one didn't quite hit the mark for me, largely because rather than twists and surprises, the story arc and the culprit was much too explicitly signposted from very early on. For me, I would have preferred much more ambiguity and a sense of being kept guessing until the finale but that wasn't to be.
I also struggled somewhat with the characters. Admittedly, in these psychological thrillers the characters don't tend to be the most likeable of people but I found Stella much too unlikeable and again I would have preferred more nuance. It was a real shame I wasn't able to connect with this novel but what I can say is that there's a lot of momentum and urgency to the story which kept me turning the pages nonetheless, and the ending was suitably unsettling. In fact there was a very palpable sense of unease throughout the novel, unlike anything I've read before, but unfortunately the transparency of the plot let the book down for me. (JC)