Whitehouse’s latest (The House at Midnight, 2008, etc.) examines the relationship between two newlyweds following the husband’s disappearance; the wife knows little about his past.
Hannah was a career girl in New York. Though English by birth, she moved to the U.S. to work in public relations and found her dream job, but what she didn’t find was her dream mate. Hesitant to get too involved with anyone she met, Hannah hit her mid-30s without finding the right guy. Then, mutual friends introduced her to a fellow Brit, the handsome Mark Reilly, who founded his own wildly successful company. Following a whirlwind courtship and a quick marriage, he and Hannah returned to London, where she began job hunting. Unhappy with staying at home, even though the home is a posh place that’s been painstakingly refurbished with the finest finishes, Hannah’s been unable to find a job. But being unemployed really hits home when Hannah’s unable to find Mark while he’s off on a business trip. Although he leaves voice mails claiming to be in New York, his colleagues think he’s with Hannah in Rome. After snooping through his office, Hannah discovers something disturbing: Mark’s pulled the equity out of their home and drained both of their bank accounts, leaving her with a couple of pounds on which to survive. Why has Mark acted this way? Is he having an affair, or is the reason much more sinister? These are questions Hannah tries to answer in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that follows each twist and turn in Hannah’s search for the truth behind Mark’s odd and off-putting behavior. Whitehouse cleverly builds the suspense bit by bit, taking the reader deftly from the couple’s initial newlywed bliss to Hannah’s growing realization that things may not be what they seem.
Astute readers will pick up on clues that things aren’t right before the hapless Hannah, but they’ll still enjoy this well-drawn, taught thriller all the way to the end.