This twisty book opens with the discovery of two bodies before flipping back three months when – with a few memory scenes added in – we progress in real time. And so we know how… And So It Begins, ends. #seewhatIdidthere
I usually HATE knowing the conclusion / whodunnit in advance. I like to guess, but happily (here), though we kinda know what happens, we don’t know how it happens. Or why.
And So It Begins
by Rachel Abbott
Published by Wildfire
on November 15th 2018
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 1472254902, 9781472254900
Mark and Evie had a whirlwind romance. Evie brought Mark back to life after the sudden death of his first wife.
Cleo, Mark's sister, knows she should be happy for him. But Cleo doesn't trust Evie...
When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.
We very briefly jump back in time after the prologue to two years earlier when Evie first meets Mark (and Cleo). Then we’re back – or forward – to the three months before the prologue. It sounds confusing but it’s pretty easy to follow as the ‘original meeting’ years before is really just a memory before planting us in the events leading up to the bodies on the bed.
There’s a bit of head-hopping in this book although Abbott does this fairly effortlessly; writing Evie in first person and then police officer Stephanie, lawyer Harriet and Cleo in third person. It means things are unfolding from their viewpoints but… Evie isn’t really able to hide anything from readers.
We know from the beginning she has an agenda, though it doesn’t become clear until the end. Her behaviour is very unpredictable in some ways but there’s also an openness about it that probably makes her seem a little less scheming… and ultimately, there’s a vulnerability and sense of empathy or remorse that makes her more sympathetic.
Abbott however also holds back, to keep us guessing though it sometimes means Evie isn’t consistent in her behaviour (and thinking).
Because we’re in several of the characters’ heads we hear the same events or hear about the same people from a number of viewpoints and they don’t all add up which help make the motives and events more unpredictable.
I probably wasn’t as convinced by the underlying motivation and eventual outcome. It seemed a bit extreme I guess, but Abbott does a very good job at keeping us in the dark for most of the book.
And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott will be published in Australia by Hachette and available from 13 November 2018.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.