This is a dark, sinister and at times, downright scary read. Kate's life has been a succession of terrible events. Her parents died in a car accident and her husband Hugo was killed five years ago. Kate is convinced that she is cursed and will do anything possible to ensure that she and her son Jack are safe. Kate and Jack move from London to Oxford, to be near to Hugo's parents and sister. Kate is completely obsessed with statistics, she can't make any decisions without thinking about the 'numbers' that creep into her brain.
You have 55% chance of dying if you are hit by a car at 30 miles per hour.
40% of catering staff do not wash their hands after going to the toilet.Kate knows the statistics for everything and this is preventing her and Jack leading normal, everyday lives. By trying to protect Jack, she's harming him. Jack is an unhappy little boy, gentle and sensitive, he hates the way that his mother pretends to be carefree, he can see in her eyes that she is faking it.
Hugo's family are at the end of the line with Kate, they are grieving too but they cannot bear to see how unhappy she is making little Jack. The battle lines are drawn and Kate really has to prove to them that she is a good mother.
When Kate meets Jago, a Scottish University professor by chance one day, she is amazed to find that he understands her, and can help her to overcome her fears.
The cleverest thing about this story is that the reader knows that Kate's fears are actually real. Although Kate's paranoia is totally over the top, Louise Millar has ensured that the reader can empathise with her. Only we know that danger is lurking, that Kate's fears are real, she's not going mad at all.
Louise Millar weaves a story that keeps the reader gripped from the opening lines. There are twists and turns all over the place, the biggest and most shocking being towards the end. I certainly didn't see it coming, and that for me, makes the perfect reading experience. I love it when a book shocks and surprises me and this one certainly did that.
There is no doubt that Louise Millar is an excellent author and has now produced two very well-written, suspenseful novels that are a must-read for any fan of psychological thrillers.
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