Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
Published by William Morrow on January 10th, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
“She had nervous, haunted eyes. Something had happened to her. She was damaged goods, and that was more beautiful to Henry than her lovely bone structure and her plump mouth.”
Can you tell I’m on a mission to read all of Peter Swanson’s books? Three down, two to go!
In Her Every Fear, Kate Priddy has always been a bit neurotic, but her anxiety has exploded into full-blown panic attacks after her ex-boyfriend kidnapped her. When a distant cousin in Boston, Corbin Dell, suggests that the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, decides it’s what’s best for her to overcome the recent wreckage of her life.
Soon after she arrives at Corbin’s apartment, Kate uncovers something shocking: his next-door neighbor, Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When Kate reaches out to Corbin, he proclaims his innocence, but she can’t shake the feeling that he might somehow be involved.
Kate doesn’t know who to believe and how she can get to the bottom of this. Emotionally unstable, jet-lagged, and her imagination running wild due to trauma of her past, Kate can’t even trust herself. So who does she trust?
As always, Swanson has me hooked from page one. The way he described Kate’s anxiety and panic attacks instantly made me pay attention. It’s exactly what I go through. And Kate’s therapist even gives the same advice as mine when trying to get through it.
I really clung onto Kate’s therapist telling her, “Remember, nobody has ever died from a panic attack before.” And that’s what my therapist gets me to remember when I go through a full-blown panic attack.
Having read three books by Swanson now, I almost feel at home when I read his books. Even though they all feature vastly different characters, settings, and premises, he’s very good at maintaining that sinister undertone throughout. Beneath the luxurious apartments, friendly neighbours, something terrible is being covered up.
I have mixed feelings about this book, which is why I gave it 3.5 bubble teas. It wasn’t that mysterious and it wasn’t that thrilling. I figured out the twist quite early on and that’s what mostly took away my joy of continuing to read it. The only time when I really felt my chest constricting in fear was near the end with the confrontation between the three main characters.
I was surprised by how slow this book was. The writing was still engaging, but there weren’t as many plot twists or much action as I wanted. The reveals were done awkwardly. I didn’t particularly enjoy that we would find out something shocking and then the timeline would jump backward while we waited for the characters to make the connections for themselves.
It was a decent and definitely enjoyable read. I just wasn’t overly impressed by it as much as Swanson’s other books. I recommend this book for people looking for a decent mystery/thriller novel. You’ll fly through it.
Of course, Swanson’s books always tend to have very sensitive subject matter. So please take care while reading this. Even though I should know by now, his books always take me by surprise by how dark they get.
I think The Kind Worth Killing will always be my favourite book from Swanson. So I’ve been rating his other books according to how well it holds up to The Kind Worth Killing. Even though I enjoyed reading Her Every Fear, it ultimately wasn’t outstanding as his other work.