Title: The Safe Place
Author: Anna Downes
Publication: July 14, 2020
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Psychological Thriller
SYNOPSIS (From Goodreads)
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.
Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs’s debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.
Welcome to paradise…will you ever be able to leave?
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this book. While the description gave me an idea it was going to be some form of mystery, I still didn’t know exactly what kind. I was surprised by this story.
This story played out in a typical drama movie sense. It bothered me a little that it took some time for it to get to the “good part” of the movie. When it did I was thoroughly creeped out. Some of the characters acted very suspect and I found it was hard for me to read at night in the dark. Every creak and noise I heard had me looking over my shoulder. Downes definitely knows how to up the creep factor!
My only complaint about this story is that there were times it was high intensity and suspense, and others where it was really slow and just seemed to drag out for chapters on end. I wish the whole book was as good as the last 25%-35% of it. I would be able to give it five stars. But unfortunately those slow moments made me struggle reading at times and knocked it down a star for me.
Aside from the ups and down of how I felt it flowed, I think the story was overall really exciting to read. The ending was crazy, twisty, and suspenseful. I read the last 1/3 of the book in less than two hours because of how good it was. I really liked the main character, Emily. Reading her story was like cheering for the underdog, but also really watching someone grow as an individual. I felt like she went from being really insecure and selfish to a well developed, responsible adult. I really enjoyed reading her growth throughout this story and feel Downes portrayed it very well. My favorite part of this book was the ending. Packed full of suspense and twists, I was constantly on my toes on how it was going to end. Downes left me guessing until the very end.
STAR RATING: 4/5
Pick up your copy of The Safe Place by Anna Downes on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Check out more from author Anna Downes on her twitter HERE.