Her Every Fear – Peter Swanson

About the Book:  Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves–until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

About the Author:  Peter Swanson is the author of three novels: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, an LA Times Book Award finalist; The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; and his most recent, Her Every Fear. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.

My Review:  This is the second book I have read by Peter Swanson, the first being The Kind Worth Killing which was utterly superb and one of my favourite books of 2015.

Her Every Fear is a standalone psychological thriller with a really creepy edge.  The main character Kate is an emotionally damaged young woman who due to a horrific attack in her past suffers (understandably) from anxiety and panic attacks.  When she bravely agrees to a 6 month house swap  with a cousin she has never met in Boston the story starts to unfold into a tense, creepy and uneasy but essentially gripping plot.

There are quite a few characters involved in telling this story, all of whom have secrets and rather dark obsessions and when Kate arrives in Boston and her next door neighbour is found brutally murdered it quickly becomes apparent that there are several suspects including her cousin.

This is another clever and tense thriller from Peter Swanson with some really unlikable characters and some brilliant twists and turns.   I still prefer The Kind Worth Killing, but this was an enjoyable thriller.

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