Invisible Girl – Lisa Jewell

The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

Lisa Jewell

About the Author: Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and Communication.

She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.

She now lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.

My Review

Lisa Jewell is the queen of domestic noir, dark twisted family dramas with intriguing characters and cleverly interwoven plotlines and Invisible Girl is no exception.

Set in leafy Hampstead, the Fours family have temporarily moved to a flat whilst their house is being renovated. Roan is a child psychologist married to Cate a physiotherapist and their two teenage children, On the surface the Fours appear to be an ordinary family, but dig a little deeper and you start to discover that it’s not only their family home suffering from subsidence!

Opposite the Fours, lives Owen Pick, a strange man, one you would probably cross the street to avoid, living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, working at a local college as a teacher until he gets suspended for sexual misconduct. He is lonely, angry and potentially dangerous.

The other main character is this tale is young Saffyre Maddox, a troubled teenager who has spent most of her life in therapy under Roan Fours and is struggling to cope when their sessions end.

The story is told from multiple viewpoints and the reader begins to see what really does go on behind closed doors. When Saffyre disappears from outside the Fours apartment and Owen Pick is the last person to see her alive, the story begins to unfold, dragging everyone with it.

Throughout the story each character became more suspicious and guilty of something, although I wasn’t able to work out what or why until the end. Invisible Girl is more character led than her previous books and I really enjoyed getting to know them all and discovering their secrets.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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