Book review: Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

Sunday, March 28, 2021 Permalink

Every Vow You Break is the fifth book I’ve read by US author Peter Swanson and ever since his debut, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, he’s offered readers something a little different. A little off-centre.

His latest is no different. In fact he’s written it in a way that the introduction misleads readers completely. I wasn’t quite sure who I should be trusting or believing. In some ways, he offers us an anti-hero who ends up being a bad guy. Like Clark Kent becoming The Joker. Or something.

Book review: Every Vow You Break by Peter SwansonEvery Vow You Break
by Peter Swanson
on 30/03/2021
Source: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 0571358497, 9780571358502
Pages: 320

Abigail Baskin was in her early twenties - working two jobs to make rent on the crummy apartment she shared with two strangers, saddled with crippling student loan debt, and nursing a secret desire to become a novelist - when she met Bruce Lamb.

A freshly-minted tech millionaire from Silicon Valley, Bruce is completely genuine, completely generous, and completely in love with Abigail. On their third date, he told her he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Six months later, he asked her to marry him. It was a fairytale romance.

But now, three days before the wedding, Abigail had a received an unsettling email. And she has no idea that this email signals the beginning of a nightmare she may never escape.

This book is set in the present, shortly before Abigail’s wedding, so much of its context is proffered via memories. This is slightly spoiler-ish but she has a one night stand with a man she meets at her bachelorette party. He’s charismatic and good in bed. Everything her husband-to-be isn’t.

But Bruce loves Abigail and he’s in a position to help her family financially and support her. It’s almost like the quintessential good guy vs bad boy thing and Abigail trusts her judgement. But, quite frankly she shouldn’t… though in fairness to her it’s pretty hard to predict what lies in wait for her on her honeymoon.

I really liked Abigail, her backstory and found her predicament really interesting. It’s been done before of course and there have been countless movies featuring those who fall in love or lust with someone else just before their wedding and forced to ponder whether it’s cold feet or something more.

Here however, what comes next left me a little disappointed. It’s certainly intriguing and Swanson does an excellent job at keeping us on the edges of our seats but [it] didn’t really seem feasible and I felt the behaviour of some of the characters wasn’t very consistent. I also felt I didn’t really ‘know’ any of the other characters so wasn’t as engaged as I would have liked. (Either way!)

It is however, a page-turner because you’re not confident that good will prevail over evil and I certainly wanted to know what happened.

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson will be published in Australia by Allen & Unwin on 30 March 2021.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.


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