With autumn well and truly upon us I can't wait to get home from work, get my pjs on, a candle lit and get stuck into a good book. There's just something about being curled up with a cracking book when it's cold outside that makes my heart happy. The Promise has been my companion of choice as the nights get darker and what a great companion it was.
There's been a spate of killings in Exeter and they're all eerily familiar. Single women meet a handsome stranger online and after their first date they're found strangled to death. Surely it isn't a coincidence. The Promise follows detectives Imogen and Adrian as they try and figure out who this mystery man is so they can stop him in his tracks. With no new leads Imogen is forced to act as bait, putting herself on the internet in the hope he will pick her as his next victim.
Then there's new boy Connor. A fateful event led to his father moving him from America to Exeter but it hasn't been easy to settle in to his new life. With his father using him as a punching bag whenever he wants it's not long before Connor starts looking for a way out of Exeter, fast.
Will Imogen and Adrian hunt down their killer or will Imogen end up his next victim? Will Connor ever escape his violent father or is he more like him than he thinks?
OK so when I first started this book I was the ultimate book snob. 'Too simple' 'I'm bored of murder mysteries now' 'I can't get into this book at all' were all things that were uttered by me as I (very slowly) made my way through the first few chapters. I'm not sure where it all changed or why but I'm pleased to say it did. I ended up LOVING this book and would place it as one of my top books of the year.
The story is told from a few perspectives, mainly Imogen, Adrian and Connor but it was never once confusing. There was also a fourth voice thrown in there as well as some chapters were told from a diary perspective of a young woman who had escaped an abusive relationship. Right up until the end you don't know who this actually is (unless like me you manage to figure it out, not that I'm bragging).
The interweaving stories were very clever and I was so invested in each of them that I completely forgot that they would obviously connect somehow, they both made great standalone plots of you ask me. The final plot twist and big finale was great and for once I had actually figured it all out but I'm not sure if it was glaringly obvious or if I'm finally starting to get the hang of this sleuthing malarkey.
My favourite part about this though was the relationship between Adrian and Imogen. It's worth noting that this is actually part of a series and although it's a standalone plot the 2 detectives have a LOT of history. Their relationship is already formed as friends and colleagues and the new element of a will they, won't they romance between them was genius. I found myself excitedly rushing to their chapters just to see if there were any more developments. I'm not normally one for a romance but I've never rooted for two characters to end up together as strongly as I did with these. Jack and Dani ain't got nothing on these two.
The only thing I would say about this book was at times it was glaringly obvious that there were books that came before it. A lot of history and previous events are brought up throughout with only a very basic explanation which meant I was often piecing things together for myself and hoping for the best. It has however made me want to go back and read the previous Imogen and Adrian novels.
There was also one event in the book where, SPOILER ALERT, one character kill another. It was all over and done with in one chapter and to be honest I don't know if I was more shocked about it happening in the first place or over the lack of real mention and attention given to the incident. With so much other stuff going on I couldn't help but think it was a bit of a pointless addition.
I'm trying to take a break from the good ol' psychological thriller and opt for something else, maybe even a spot of non-fiction so if you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments!