Random House Transworld (UK: 22nd May 2014; AU: 1st August 2014)
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No one writes psychological suspense quite like the British. They’re the kind of books that fly under your radar, you give them a half-hearted attempt, and they complete surprise with their insidious greatness. (It shouldn’t surprise me, but I can be pessimistic.) This happened earlier this year with Samantha Hayes’s Until You’re Mine, and has done it again now with Tamar Cohen’s The Broken.
It starts off simply enough: Dan confesses to Josh that he’s thinking of leaving his wife, Sasha. Told from the points of view of Josh and his wife, Hannah, the situation keeps escalating and twisting until you’re not sure who’s more annoying – Sasha or Dan. Meanwhile, Hannah and Josh, though they don’t really want to, keep defending their friends. And, of course, it’s the children who suffer the most.
In true psych-suspense form, there’s a twist saved for the very end. I love twists! The author’s biography says that The Broken is the first in a series of psychological suspenses, but I hope they each stand alone. Tamar Cohen ends the story perfectly – giving enough detail to wrap everything up, but leaving a bit of mystery about the future. But if there was a second story with these characters, I doubt it would have the same impact.
Which could be why I’m wary of reading Samantha Hayes’s second novel. Until You’re Mine is fabulous as a standalone, but apparently it’s the first in a series starring the same investigators. The power in Until You’re Mine is the main focus on Claudia and the nanny – not the police, so I’m worried Book 2 won’t be as powerful.
That said, I’m interested to check up on Tamar Cohen’s next books, too. This year I’ve developed a fondness for psychological suspense novels, so bring ’em on!