WOW! Just WOW!
Can we take a moment to applaud Megan Miranda on her profound ability to turn people mind-bogglingly INSANE?
I had finished reading the Girl from Widow Hills in a one-flat night and woke up this morning to find my nailbeds chewed brutally. This HAS to be one of the best psychological thrillers out there in 2020 and I’ll tell you why. Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbours and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return.
Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary, it all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.
The Brutal Twist
Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now?
Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, as she did long ago, even walking outside her home. Until late one night, she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.
And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the centre of the story, once again, in this propulsive page-turner from suspense master Megan Miranda.
So, our little Arden grows up into Olivia who is estranged with her mother and is trying to live a life as far as possible from her all-consuming dreaded past. One day she receives a box containing her dead mother’s last possesions and this kicks off a bout of sleepwalking and hyperventilation.
Whilst sleepwalking one day, she comes across a dead corpse outside her house, a man from the past, rocking her life off balance in her present. So did she kill the man and forget it? If she doesn’t, who did it? Why doesn’t she remember anything about her disappearance?
There are more holes in her story than swiss cheese and her life begins to topple like a castle of cards once strange facts begin to come out into the limelight. One of her best friends quits from her job and disappears without telling her anything. And the dead man’s identity comes out…. She cannot be more confused and terrified. So what’s gonna happen? Whodunit?!!
I consider myself a psychological megafan and yet haven’t read a book this spooky. The concept of having unpredictable narrators is a must in psychological thrillers. Usually, it is either alcoholics or drug addicts. This book came as a bolt out of blue with sleepwalking in all its glory. Simply A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!
It REFUSES to wear down!
Who would have thought of it? It is simply….. indigenous. Usually, I wait for a good week before I review any psychological thriller because it often happens like, in the case of The Silent Patient, where the effects and twists begin to look ludicrous once the eerie effect of the book wore down.
Let’s just say, this book is exceptional in that aspect and even today, a week later, manages to make me shiver. Truly a masterpiece.
Here’s where I go crazy:
This book LEGIT beat all my spider-senses and left me swearing at top of my voice! I had not expected such a spectacular ending even in my strangest nightmares and that’s saying something. The author played the game shrewdly and managed to blame and shame many characters. I for one was absolutely sure that I knew the killer somewhere in the middle of the book. But NO. JUST NO.
The Writing Style
The plot was incredibly good. Yet, that something special was missing. I genuinely hoped that the writing was a little more, say, mature and non-obvious. The protagonist had tons of potential but it all went wasted because of the slightly below-the-5-star writing.
The dialogue, as well as scene transition, was rusty and just didn’t appear seamless. Though I understand that the author wanted the protagonist to sound like a scared toddler, I gotta say this, all the “oh-i’m-so-terrified” kind of situations with her friends annoyed me to no end.
I loved this book, it was ethereal and acutely quenched my thirst for a decent psychological thriller. The writing is dismayal, and I’d like to make that clear. But. The plot is juicy enough to compensate and leave you panting. Overall, a good and must-read book for all thrill-seekers out there. Good job, Megan Miranda! Happy reading!