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I love books set in seaside towns, and Brighton makes a perfect backdrop for a thriller, with its mix of bright family fun and seedy nightlife. The book is a very modern thriller, leaning heavily on social media, which was interesting although I generally prefer more historical mysteries. I couldn’t figure out whether I liked the protagonist, Poppy, and whether I thought she’d done the right thing in leaving Matthew. Some of the characters felt cliché and weren’t explored in enough depth. The writing style felt very basic and average, and the final sex scene between Poppy and Matthew was crude and cringey.
On the whole I think the author was trying too hard to write a ‘sexy’ or seedy thriller, but there was nothing truly unique or disturbing in the book. The twists and turns of the book were okay and I hadn’t figured out who Jenny was (though I had figured out who the villains were), but it all felt a bit far fetched and it seemed like such a small thing to kill someone over. The psyches of the villains weren’t really explored; one is simply portrayed as a cowardly, homophobic man and the woman – ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’ – is never given any kind of underlying motive or emotions. An easy book to read on a long train journey or on the beach, but I’ve read much better thrillers.