The Safe Place by Anna Downes

The Safe Place

The Safe Place
by Anna Downes

Psychological Thriller

352 Pages

Published by Minotaur Books (14th July 2020)

Purchase from | Amazon AU | Amazon US  | Booktopia* | Book Depository* | Dymocks | QBD | | Fishpond AU*|

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My rating: ⭐ ⭐

Actual rating of 2.5

Emily just can’t catch a break. She’s just lost her temp job, her rent is due, and now her acting agent has also left her high and dry. To say Emily is desperate would be an understatement, she can’t possibly call her parents for financial help….again….

Scott is the CEO of the company who just fired Emily, he’s wealthy, charismatic and good looking. However, Scott has a problem that none of that can fix. That’s when he notices Emily and thinks that she would be a perfect fix for his problem. He offers her a job that sounds too good to be true, and is way too good to refuse; a housekeeper at his sprawling mansion in France with his wife and daughter. Emily jumps at the chance and is soon jetting her way to her new life. She becomes enchanted with the estate, as well as with Scotts beautiful wife, Nina. His daughter Aurelia is a bit different but Emily thinks that she’s beginning to warm up to her. Soon Emily notices strange things about Scott’s family, but can’t quite put her finger on what’s going on. What follows is a rabbit hole of secrets and lies that someone would kill to keep hidden…Is Emily truly in danger?

This one sounded so intriguing and I had requested it on Netgalley, but when I was knocked back on it, I ended up buying it the first time I saw it in store. I discovered a soft spot for psychological thrillers a couple of years ago and this one sounded right up my alley. The premise was brilliant, but I just felt that the urgency in the story and the pacing fell pretty flat towards the middle of the book.

Emily is struggling, she’s likeable and I didn’t have any issues with her character at all. She’s found herself in a terrible situation where asking for help from her parents, yet again, is not an option. Especially because she doesn’t tend to call them any other time except for when she needs saving. So when gorgeous, charismatic Scott notices her, saves her life and offers her the opportunity of a life time, of course she’s going to say yes. I felt that Emily’s character was extremely believable, and she was well developed. Scott, we can see has issues from the get go, though we don’t know the what or why of it really. Straight up, as soon as we meet him, he self harms when he zones out because obviously he’s ending up in a troubled place that is connected to the secrets. We also learn super early on, that he doesn’t really go back and visit his wife and daughter in France, so the mystery began early on and was super intriguing.

Once Emily arrives in France, things seem amazing and we are left questioning what on Earth Scott’s issues could be. However, the longer that Emily is employed at the mansion, small things keep cropping up that are weird and a little off, though we have no idea what the go is. My urban fantasy brain kept screaming VAMPIRES! THEY’RE VAMPIRES! And I found myself constantly reminding it that this was a contemporary psychological thriller with no fantasy elements in it.

The odd occurrences were intriguing in the beginning, but for basically the entire middle portion of the book, that’s all we got, odd thing after odd thing happening, to the point that it got tiring and I put the book down for a couple of months because it just wasn’t going anywhere. It felt very drawn out and the pacing of the book fell totally flat, which was a little disappointing. However I was determined to finish the book because I know that sometimes the ending can really bring things back up. I’m not gonna lie, the ending of this one did surprise me and I honestly did not pick the twist at all until Emily discovered what it was. I just felt like as great at the ending was, it wasn’t enough to bump my rating any higher than what it is.

I really wanted to love this book, but I know that you can’t love everything that you read. If you’re after a psychological thriller with a killer twist at the end, and are able to really push through lulls in a story, give this one a go.

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