When Beth Parker’s estranged sister Lucy turns up on her doorstep needing a place to stay, Beth is dismayed, but she and her husband Simon allow Lucy to stop with them for a while. Tension is evident between the two sisters, and Lucy’s references to Beth’s inability to bear children only deepens the wound, and Beth ends up wishing that her sister would just go away. However, when her wish is granted in shocking fashion, a tiny part of Lucy is left behind – her baby. Heartbroken by the fact that she can never have children of her own, Beth decides that she wants her sister’s child, and she is determined that nothing will stand in the way of her getting the baby. But there are forces at work which want to make sure that she doesn’t get what she has always dreamed of.
Meantime, Beth’s psychiatrist husband Simon has a new patient to cope with at the hospital where he works – a disturbed young woman who has murdered her own children, and who seems to know too much about Simon and Beth for comfort…
I’ll start with the good points of this book. The story is fast paced, and (despite the criticisms of the book which are about to follow), I did find myself anxious to read on to see what happened, on several occasions.
There’s a good story in here somewhere, but a few things ruined my enjoyment of this book. I couldn’t engage with any of the characters at all. I don’t think it’s necessarily important to like a central character, but certainly some feeling about them should be evoked. In this case however, I found I just didn’t care about Beth, Simon or any of the other characters.
The other problem was that there seemed to be an inordinate number of explicit sex scenes in the book – in the first half especially, it felt as if they have been shoehorned into the narrative at every opportunity, necessary or otherwise (usually not necessary at all). I am not usually bothered by sex scenes, but there were so many here that it got a bit tedious. Most of them added nothing whatsoever to the story, and seemed entirely gratuitous.
Finally, the story started out apparently as a psychological horror, but seemed to change genre halfway through! This probably wouldn’t have been a problem, but it took me by surprise!
Overall then, while this had good elements, it was a bit of a disappointment.
(Author’s website can be found here.)