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Publisher's Summary

Set against a stunning Scandinavian backdrop, a gritty novel of psychological suspense that asks the question how far would you go to hold onto what you have? 

Cecilia Wilborg has it all - a loving husband, two beautiful daughters and a gorgeous home in the affluent Norwegian town of Sandefjord. And she works hard to keep it all together. Too hard. Because one mistake from her past could bring it all crashing down around her. 

Annika Lucasson lives a dark life with her abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend. She's lost everything one too many times and now she's got one last chance to save herself, thanks to Cecilia. Annika knows her secret - and just how much she's willing to do to make it all go away... 

When someone forgets to pick up their little boy at the local pool, Cecilia agrees to take him home, only to find an abandoned, empty house. It's the first step in the unraveling of her meticulously crafted life, as her and Annika's worlds collide...

©2018 Alex Dahl (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Dahl savagely delineates the price of living in a society that insists women must try to be perfect wives and mothers and have successful careers, too, or they’ll be inevitably made to feel they’re never good enough." (Publishers Weekly

"A tangled web, masterfully constructed and certain to satisfy fans of the genre." (Booklist)

"Scandi Noir at its best... Atmospheric and beautifully written...combines complex and believable characters with a heart-breaking and head-spinning plot." (Mary Torjussen, author of Gone Without a Trace and The Girl I Used to Be)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I am Usually"Boy Crazy"....But Not For This One!

Very, very disappointing. I selected this book because of its strong reviews and compelling storyline. I also listened to a sample that was read by a superb narrator.

The book starts out strong and rapidly goes downhill. I invested 12 hours of my time listening to the book and it was not time well spent.

The story was very contrived and unbelievable. If I give specific examples (and there are many!) - I will reveal spoilers so I will stop here.

The narrators were excellent and I always enjoy a book with multiple narrators.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful, heartbreaking story flawlessly told

I was drawn in almost immediately, the characters and their situations had me so engrossed that I didn't want to stop listening. The three actresses beautifully narrated this heart-breaking tale of loss and redemption mixed with pain and the cruelty humans sometimes inflict on others and themselves. Every character was brought to life, but of course Cecilia, Annie and Tobias were so gorgeously given life that it was as though I was there, in the story, with them. I sobbed, I smiled and I loved them all, as flawed and beautiful as they are.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Strange

It started off interesting enough. Caught my attention, made me want to keep listening. But the storyline was so sad, so depressing. There was nothing pleasant, nothing redeeming about the main character. She was a liar, cheat, immoral, and sociopathic person. And then it all just went downhill from there. It was great at first, I thought, wow, this author really knows how to write a character who people can despise, feel anger about and hate. But there needed to be also some empathy for her, some personal connection. There was all that with the character Annie. As the reader, I learned to like her, feel sorry for her, empathize with her and hope for her to find peace, make it in the world and be happy. But with the main character, um no. I wanted her locked up. Put away for good. Maybe that was the point? Some how though, it seemed like the author just kept trying to add more and more crazy stuff as she went along. It didn't seem planned out and the consequences of her actions NEVER really caught up to her.