Monday, November 16, 2020

Debut Psychological Thriller Lacks That Special "Something"

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

As the author of a popular book on how to leave an abusive partner and host of a radio talk show on the same subject, psychologist Faith Finley has helped hundreds of people flee bad situations.  She's a respected psychologist living a successful, happy life with her loving husband, Liam.  Then, there's a car accident.  Faith wakes up in the hospital to foggy memories of the crash and a horrifying question:  Where is Liam?  She insists he was in the vehicle with her, but authorities can find no sign of him.  It seems to them as if he's done a runner, quietly slipping out of a life he no longer wants.  Faith refuses to believe that.  Something terrible happened to her husband and she wants to know what.

Then, Faith starts receiving threatening notes in the form of pages ripped from her book advising things like "Consider investing in a steel door."  Between the unsettling notes and a crisis at work, she can barely cope.  Self-medicating with alcohol and pills, Faith is hardly at her best.  Still, she won't rest until she knows once and for all what happened to Liam.  Even if it means putting herself in the path of a dangerous stalker.

Psychological thrillers are a dime a dozen these days.  It takes something special to really make one stand out over all the others.  Unfortunately, Someone's Listening, a debut novel by filmmaker Seraphina Nova Glass, just doesn't have that something.  The novel's premise is simple but intriguing.  I found it compelling enough to keep reading, even though the story suffered from predictability and uneven pacing.  My biggest beef was with Faith herself.  Not only is she unconvincing as a psychologist, but she's also unappealing as a person.  I'm not sure why I found her so unlikable; I just did.  It was difficult for me to connect with her, making it hard to care what happened to her.  All these things considered, I ended up not loving Someone's Listening.  It was just an average read for me.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other psychological thrillers, although no specific titles are coming to mind.)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, sexual content, and depictions of illegal drug use (marijuana)

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of Someone's Listening from the generous folks at HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

2 comments:

  1. Another so-so read...I'm sorry. Hopefully your next one will be much better. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I find it hard to enjoy a book when I can't connect to the main character. I enjoyed this one more than you did and perhaps it is because I listened to the audioboo. Nice, honest review Susan.

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