A story about guilt, trust and insecurity with doses of chilling terror.
There are references to eclipses as a motif for the unknown, being in the shade or blocked out as the central character becomes isolated after she hires a nanny. There is no prior meeting between the family and the children's nanny, she is employed simply from an agency based on excellent references. Early on the nanny is revealed as a fake. The rest of the book looks at why she is an impostor and what she has to hide, and what secrets the other characters are hiding.
It it a very slow start and tedious in places, especially the first chapter (which seems very long). A mother wants to hire a nanny so she can go back to work. A paragraph is all that is needed to express this not the long chapter offered. But as the tension increases the chapters become shorter and snappier. The nanny is too perfect. She has ways of looking at people, as if she knows things and she smiles too much. This is very well done and quite creepy.
When strange things appear to be happening within the family - or maybe not - the tension increases and the story moves along quickly. Anxiety and paranoia are depicted well.
There are a few loose ends and some new ideas that appear towards the end as if an afterthought. This leads to a fairly disjointed ending not really in keeping with the tone of the story. It is however, quite a gripping thriller.
Published by Lake Union Publishing 18 June 2019.
Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.