Saturday 7 June 2014

Review ~ Don't stand So Close by Luana Lewis

Random House UK
Stella is a severe agoraphobic, cruelly entrapped within her home for several years, she only feels safe in her isolated world with her psychiatrist husband Max. Late one snowy night, a teenage girl turns up on her doorstep, frightened and alone, Stella is reluctant to accept this stranger into her home especially as her husband is away for the night, but even as she hesitates , you realise that whatever decision she makes, it will have profound consequences.

What then follows is a taught psychological thriller which takes in the vagaries of recall and of how we are all trapped by memories of the past.  The story unfolds from three perspectives and the author has used her considerable expertise as a clinical psychologist to weave to together both past and present and offers a story which has all the elements of surprise, combined with the juxtaposition of three unreliable narrators.

From any viewpoint this is not an easy book to enjoy nor could I say that I truly liked the story which started to emerge but what I can acknowledge is the deft way in which  the author controlled the narrative from its tentative beginning through to its dramatic and timely conclusion.

Should appeal to fans of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Sister by Rosamund Lupton and Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Hayes.

My thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK / Transworld for my e-copy of this book.


About the Author

Luana Lewis

S.L. Lewis is a clinical psychologist and author of two non-fiction books (written under Sharon Lewis) An Adult’s Guide to Childhood Trauma (1999, Cape Town: David Phillip Publishers) and Dealing with Rape (1994,Johannesburg: Maskew Miller Longman). DON’T STAND SO CLOSE is her dรฉbut novel, a gripping psychological thriller about a reclusive psychologist who is forced to confront trauma from her past and secrets in her marriage.


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