Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Faber and Faber (2 Aug 2012)
When Rob Hale wakes up in hospital after a motorcycle crash he is told that Lena, the woman he claims was travelling with him, doesn’t exist. The woman he describes bears a striking resemblance to his recently deceased sister, Laura, but has he really only imagined her?
Rob sets out to find the answers to who Lena is and where she has gone. He is aided by Rebecca Lewis, a London-based PI, who has come to the Isle of Man at the behest of his parents to investigate his sister’s suicide. But who is Rebecca really and how did she know his sister?
Together Rob and Rebecca follow the clues to discover who took Lena. In doing so they discover that even on an island where most people know each other, everyone hides a secret, and that sometimes your best option isn’t to hide but to stay and fight.
Before Part One begins we read a brief reflective account of the motorbike crash. In Part One Rob has regained consciousness in hospital. We learn the doctors attribute Lena to Rob’s head trauma, which can cause cognitive disruption. Rob’s background is shared and we read how he met Lena. He’s released from hospital really quickly considering his injuries … this was my first hook… something wasn’t quite right about his release. Once out of hospital he meets PI Rebecca. This was another thing that intrigued me. Why did Rob’s sister Laura give Rebecca’s details to her parents? What was the link? Rob and Rebecca go to the isolated cottage on the plantation where Rob first met Lena and their investigations reveal some interesting things.
Part Two takes us deeper into the intrigue and we meet new characters. Instead of giving answers it only raises more questions! The rest of the story is told alternating with Rob and Rebecca hunting down answers and another set of characters on a journey that does include some harrowing scenes when these characters meet.
The setting of Safe House is perfect. Both on land (the Isle of Man) and sea there is isolation. The suspense is quite dramatic in places and with the build up of clues I found myself continually trying to work out how everyone fitted in and why. All the characters have secrets that unravel, including Rob’s parents.
Safe House is a thriller that will pull you in and engage your inference skills. It’s a ‘dark’ read that exposes the abuse of power and the devastating effects that obsession can have on a life.
NOTE: There is information about the Isle of Man and the TT race before the story begins so the reader is able to put the story into context.
You can find out more about the author by visiting his website. On the website you will find links for following Chris Ewan on Twitter and Facebook.
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