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  • Writer's pictureNia Forrester

'Greenwich Park' by Katherine Faulkner

This one delivered on the suspense.

'Greenwich Park' begins with a letter to Helen, the main character, written by someone who has done her wrong and seeks to explain themselves. We don't know who the letter-writer is, because then the action flashes back to about a year earlier, and a complicated story gradually unfolds involving the complicated past of Helen, her husband Daniel, her brother Rory and his wife Serena, a past stretching all the way back to their days together at Cambridge.

Helen and her sister-in-law, Serena are both pregnant, expecting babies within weeks of each other and Helen has plans for them to attend the same pre-natal class. When Serena and her brother fail to show up for class, as well as her own husband, Daniel, Helen meets the enigmatic Rachel, a young woman who inexplicably attaches herself to Helen and thereafter seems to just ... keep showing up. Everywhere.

The mystery of who Rachel is, and what she may have to do with the two couples unfurls slowly, revealing things about them all that Helen didn't know. What made this a good suspense read for me was the realization that much of the "action" was happening in Helen's imagination. While there were definitely the usual strange discoveries and secrets and surprises that are every suspense novel's stock in trade, for much of the book these were relatively subtle until finally the big climactic moment. And once that moment comes, though I should have been expecting it, I did not.

Finally, I think this author did a great job of using imagery. Not so much so that the book leaned into the realm of literary, but just enough that it avoided being campy, the way some domestic suspense books can be. The writing was stellar, and the characters layered and believable. Even the hapless, Helen, who from the very first chapter reveals herself to be somewhat self-delusional, manages to remain sympathetic and never veers toward pathetic.

I liked this one a lot. Great upmarket domestic suspense, with just enough to keep you guessing till the very end. Recommended.

My rating:⭑⭑⭑⭑

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