Tuesday 17 February 2015

Review ~ Second Life by S J Watson

Random House UK
Transworld Publishers
January 2015

We all have secrets.....
This is one of those books which hits the ground running and takes an unstable and unreliable narrator who has so many personal problems that it’s hard to know where to begin. Julia is grieving the loss of her sister who has died in tragic circumstances and in order to rationalise the shock and horror, she starts a series of events which, ultimately, will have dramatic consequences on everyone around her. Pressing the self destruction button seems to come easily to Julia, she has issues going back years, which are revealed piecemeal throughout the story and which have damaged her , almost beyond repair. But it is the unlikely scenario of being drawn into the dark and dirty world of cyber sex where the book really starts to bite.

I suppose, given the spectacular achievement of the author’s debut book, Before I go To Sleep, there was huge anticipation about this much awaited second novel, and the expectation that it couldn't possibly outshine his first success has given rise to lots of comments. I think, before you start this one, you have to put Before I go to Sleep completely out of your mind and take this novel for the gift it is. It’s well written, nicely observed in places and has enough angst, counter plot and malice to see it through to an exciting conclusion. I found Julia’s story quite gripping in places, sure, there were times when I had to suspend belief, and say to myself ...”really...would she have been so incredibly naive?”....but, good writing, at least, gives the  reader the privilege of being able to take a glimpse into an ordered life that suddenly becomes completely skewed.

So, overall, I thought it was a job well done. It kept my attention from beginning to end and whilst the dénouement didn't shock me entirely, it was an ending which I hadn't really seen coming.

My thanks to NetGalley and  Random House UK and Transworld Publishers for my ecopy of this book.


1 comment:

  1. I thought before I go to sleep was great so would definitely look out for this one, thanks for reviewing.

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net


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