Book review: Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

Audible version, narrated by Eva Kaminsky

3/5 stars.

Trigger/HSP warning: there are some lines from the killer about what he considers doing to a cat, which was disturbing, but the cat is not hurt.

Kate Priddy has suffered from anxiety all her life, and about 5 years before the story starts, a traumatic event happens to Kate basically proving her irrational fears right. She collapses and is only starting to get her life back together when her second cousin – Corbin Dell, who lives in Boston and that she’s never met – proposes an apartment exchange. Corbin needs to relocate to London for 6 months for work and offers up his swanky apartment in Beacon Hill to Kate as an exchange so he can save some money on housing in London. Kate decides it’s time to face her fears, so she agrees to the exchange.

However, just after she arrives it becomes clear that the woman living in the apartment across from Kate in Boston has been murdered. She finds out some things about her cousin that makes her wonder if he’s involved in the woman’s death, and there’s a few other men lurking around that seem to be hiding things. Kate is tired, scared and confused and doesn’t know what is real or not. Where are the keys she thought she put back in the drawer? How is the cat back in the apartment – didn’t she let him out? Why has a drawing she made seemingly changed on its own?

It’s an intriguing premise, but I honestly found it a bit of a snore-fest. The main reason for this is that the book tells the story from multiple points of view. This in itself is not really an issue and par for the course for this kind of novel, however, when changing to a different character the exact same timeline is reiterated from their perspective, not just briefly but almost in its entirety. This just didn’t work for me. It could have worked if there had been a short recap of what character x was up to while we were following character y, as it does fill in details of the story that we didn’t have before, but it’s just so long, and tedious.

When we were at the pivotal part of the novel, which I presumed would be the ending, I realised there were still hours left of the audiobook. This was because we then jumped back to following multiple other characters up to the same point again. Rather than build suspense this kind of killed it for me. Also from about midway the book you know what has happened as well as most of what is likely to follow.

And although the book definitely has its creepy parts I generally found it more gross than scary, which is not really my thing.

So there’s nothing wrong with the book or with the writing, and I quite liked Kate Priddy, but the way this story was told just didn’t really float my boat.

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