A murder committed on a rainy night on a spooky backwoods road opens Paris' (Behind Closed Doors, 2016) second thriller.
Cass Anderson is only a year into her marriage to Matthew, and she couldn’t be happier. After all, the two share a lovely cottage in Nook’s Corner, even if it is a bit secluded, beyond a dark road that leads through the woods, the same woods that Matthew pointedly warns her not to take a shortcut through on a rainy night after a party. She does, of course, and sees a woman sitting in her car in the lay-by lane. To help or not to help? Cass pulls up and stops for a bit, but the woman doesn't signal for help and Cass eventually moves on, learning the next day that the woman was brutally murdered. When Cass realizes she knows the victim, Jane Walters, in passing, she’s even more shocked, but her paranoia and fear of nearly every small event seem to hit her all at once, with not much burn time, morphing schoolteacher Cass into the stereotypical “hysterical” woman. It doesn’t help that Cass’ mother was diagnosed with early onset dementia, making her profound lapses of memory even more alarming. Then the daily phone calls come, with no one on the line….Is Cass the target of a killer or the victim of her own failing memory? After a flurry of events where poor Cass is repeatedly told that her memory is not up to snuff and babied by her slightly smarmy husband, Paris throws all the answers at readers in the last 50 pages, and for someone who’s been through quite a lot, Cass is surprisingly laissez faire about the truth once it comes out. The childish antics of a couple of bumbling, utterly cold villains are more exasperating than compelling.
Paranoid and claustrophobic but tries too many tricks for its own good.