As the blurb promises, Emily is indeed a mess. She’s klutzy, she talks too much when she gets nervous, and she’s a bit of a drifter who has trouble keeping a job. But this new job her boss sends her to is perfect. Gorgeous house, property, and an amazing friend in Nina, it’s everything she could ever want. Sometimes when things seem too good to be true, we overlook the warning signals because of the sudden euphoria, and that’s exactly what happens to Emily.
While it didn’t feel like a thriller until we got towards the end, the suspense element is truly at play. The reader isn’t sure what’s going on with Scott, Nina, or Aurelia. You question what is up with Scott’s scheming, Nina’s strange behavior, or the fact that Aurelia has these violent tendencies. As things at the house got worse, first with the loss of wi-fi and then with the inability to call out, the alarm bells were ringing.
I felt there was a bit of a missed opportunity when it comes to exploring mental health a bit deeper. Nina was clearly suffering, and while that was addressed, there was only a bit of a reference to Emily’s issues at the very end. Perhaps it would have taken away from the book, I don’t know. While some elements were a little predictable, it didn’t detract that this is a well-written book, with wonderful characters and the perfect setting. I’m always a fan of alternating viewpoints, and Downes did this well. It was practically a one-sitting read for me. Thank you, St. Martin’s for sending this one along!
The Safe Place is available on Amazon for $13.99.
Emily is a mess.
Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.
Emily is desperate.
Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.
Emily is perfect.
Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn’t play along, the consequences could be deadly.