EXCERPT: We stand together in the silence of the night, in the clearing in the woods. Our breathing is the only thing I can hear.
We are as one, but only because we’ve agreed to cover up what’s happened.
It wasn’t supposed to end like this. When is killing someone ever a satisfactory solution? This was just a momentary lapse of concentration. A burst of anger. A fist of infuriation. Hands squeezing something they shouldn’t have.
But now the body is buried. We’ve hidden the crime. If anyone finds out, we’ll make up lies and pretend it never happened. No one will ever know the truth.
Because I won’t let them find out.
ABOUT ‘THE LIFE SHE WANTS’: From behind the curtains, Sarah spotted the man coming out of the house, followed by the woman. It would be strange seeing people in the property. She wondered how much it would change their lives. For now, she would bide her time and hopefully get to know them better. She needed to gain their trust.
When I met Richard, I fell for him instantly. He was able to give me everything I had always wanted, the dream house, security and above all, love like I’d never known. We lived a quiet life in the middle of nowhere; we didn’t need anyone else.
So, when the empty house next door is sold, I am wary. Will our neighbours invade the perfect life Richard has built for us? As soon as I meet Juliette and Danny, I am reassured. Overwhelmed by grief after the death of their young daughter, they have moved in search of a quiet life and a chance to start again. Over dinner one evening, we hit it off instantly and I know they are just the neighbours we need.
All is well until Juliette spots a young girl in our garden. Richard convinces her that she is seeing things, that it’s the grief taking over. But Juliette won’t let it go. She is sure she saw a child. She believes that Richard is threatening her. She starts to think that I’m not safe.
I need to convince Juliette that she’s imagining it. I need to keep Richard happy. If I am to protect everything I have built for myself, she must never find out the truth.
That my perfect life is built on the deadliest lie.
MY THOUGHTS: This is a book that you really need to concentrate on as you read because it is not always obvious just whose point of view you are reading. There is also a fair bit of jumping about in the timeline, also not always apparent. I think that had I listened to the entire audiobook instead of reading the first 80% and listening to the last 20%, it may have been a little clearer. But, in the end, it all makes sense. It’s just a little frustrating getting to that point.
Although The Life She Wants packs a punch, I didn’t find it a particularly enjoyable experience. There are characters that I absolutely hated; sly, nasty and manipulative. They left a nasty taste in my mouth. I really found it difficult to connect with any of the characters other than Juliette and her husband. And I found the child totally unbelievable, although very little is seen and absolutely nothing heard from her. So very wrong on all levels.
The book reminds me a little in format of the old western movies, where you have the good guys and the bad guys. The good guys are really, really good, and the bad guys are really, really bad. There’s a whole heap of tussling and wrangling and jostling for position going on, and the good guys appear to be coming off worst until the very end, when justice prevails, albeit usually with a few bodies strewn about along the way. But did justice prevail here? I’ll let you make up your own mind.
I: @mel_sherratt @bookouture
T: @writermels @Bookouture
#contemporaryfiction #domesticdrama #mystery #psychologicalthriller
THE AUTHOR: write police procedurals, psychological suspense and women’s fiction with a punch – or grit-lit, as I call it.
I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books.
I also write women’s fiction under the pen name of Marcie Steele.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC and an audio ARC of The Life She Wants by Mel Sherratt and narrated by Emma Gregory, for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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