Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even.
Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.
Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully…
First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…
But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?
I have to admit to having had K.L. Slater’s debut novel, Safe With Me, sitting on my Kindle for far too long. Having finally read it, I wish I hadn’t left it so long and I will be reading her follow up novels. I’m on a bit of a roll with psychological thrillers at the moment after having gone through a bit of a rough patch with them.
Safe With Me focuses on main character, Anna, after she witnesses a traffic accident and stays and takes care of the injured party, Liam. She recognises the driver of the car involved as Carla, a woman who ruined her life thirteen years ago. As Anna slowly plans to get her revenge on Carla, we see her behaviour begin to turn into an obsession that gradually takes over her life.
The narrative switches between present day and thirteen years earlier which works effectively in building up the reader’s understanding of Anna’s behaviour. With the present-day chapters told in first person narrative via Anna, Slater slowly drops hints throughout the book about Anna, her life and her current situation which keeps you turning the pages and has you guessing as to what will become of her and those she is involved with. Will she be successful in getting her revenge on Carla?
Slater’s characterisation of Anna is fantastic and it is hard to tell that this is a debut novel. As we become aware of Anna’s mental health difficulties while we watch her unravel, this initially unlikeable character becomes one that I felt a great deal of sympathy for. Yes, she is unreliable but she also has a vulnerability that made me want to look after her. I found myself worrying about her. Slater has developed a well-rounded, multi-faceted character with all the layers that human beings have. Her portrayal of mental health difficulties is incredibly well done.
The tone throughout is oppressive and heavy as we get into Anna’s head. I really liked the way Safe With Me is written and Slater is clearly a talented writer.
In relation to its impact as a psychological thriller, Safe With Me works brilliantly. It has a compelling main character who is unreliable and you never know what she is going to do next, especially as her thought pattern becomes more erratic. Slater had me guessing to the very end and kept me on my toes in my quest to figure out what would happen.
Safe With Me is a great debut. Well written, brilliantly characterised and a total page-turner, if you like psychological thrillers definitely check it out. I’m off to go and read Slater’s other books!
Safe With Me was published on 3 November 2016 by Bookouture. You can get your copy HERE.
My thanks to K.L. Slater, Bookouture and Netgalley for the copy in exchange for my honest review.