A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
I know…I’m reviewing a grown-up book. I do sometimes read them. And this one is pretty extraordinary.
I recently went on holiday to Mexico. It was very much a beach and relax holiday and I therefore went armed with an embarrassing amount of books. Luckily for both baggage allowance and looking-like-a-nutter reasons, mostly I filled up my Kindle app. But it seems the thirty odd books I took weren’t enough. I’m quite old, so there’s still a certain astonishment that comes with lying on a beach in a foreign country, reading about a great new book on my phone and in less than 30 seconds opening up that book and starting to read.
Until You’re Mine isn’t your traditional beach read. It’s a gripping psychological thriller along the lines of Before I go To Sleep. It is one of the most pleasantly uncomfortable books I’ve ever read. I was utterly chewing my nails from page one. Knowing things are definitely wrong with the situation but seeing the characters being completely oblivious and you want to yell at them to get out before it’s too late and there’s nothing you can do except keep turning the pages and hope…
The story is told from three different viewpoints. The opening prologue is from the POV of an unknown woman who is desperate to the point of madness for the one thing that will make her life complete. A baby.
The story opens with heavily pregnant Claudia who is step mother to twin boys under five with a Naval Officer husband who is out of the country for long stretches of time. Claudia needs to employ a nanny to stay with her to prepare for her new arrival and deal with the children.
Zoe arrives for interview for the nanny position and as the viewpoint turns to her you know pretty much from the start that all is not accurate with her glowing nanny CV and her reasons for being there.
The third viewpoint character is police officer Lorraine who is investigating the brutal murder of a pregnant woman found lying in her bathtub next to the dead body of her freshly removed baby.
Each viewpoint character has their opportunity to tell the story, unfolding the twists and turns with perfect precision. The ending is a tour de force and it was on top of me before I had the gumption to work out where all the pieces had so deftly fitted together. Gripping is an understatement and the fact that I was lying on a beach in Cancun and forgot I was there is quite an achievement. If you’re looking for a well written, expertly plotted page turner, I heartily recommend Until You’re Mine. I devoured it in a few hours and was left completely exhausted. Snoozing in the sun afterwards was a welcome recovery.