A case of not judging people at face value. Even if it is a beautiful face.
Bit of a conventional start: beautiful older woman sees a beautiful younger man on the beach. They are instantly attracted and begin an affair after she discovers her husband is also committing adultery. Two beautiful people in a beautiful house on a beautiful beach.
After a few chapters (too many) there are some contradictions in the story, as the point of view switches between the man and the woman. As the book progresses these differences become wider and the story takes a sinister turn until someone is murdered. Then we have to choose who to believe, if either of them.
A contemporary psychological thriller that manages to keep the pace and the confusion at the right level. A bad boy or a naive and unlucky soul? A manipulative selfish woman or an abused and trusting victim? Each character displays their flaws, recognises them and then attempts to redeem themselves with a fair bit of self pity.
Towards the end, the story changes into a crime novel and the focus becomes the police investigation and a whodunnit. New point of view and a new character, slightly late in the book to develop attachments, but fairly well-done. Overall an engaging and enjoyable read once past the apparent shallow opening chapters.
Published by St Martin's Press on 23 July 2019. Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.