What’s it about?
Four months ago, Rick went out to buy a newspaper. He never came back.
His wife, Gina, is struggling to deal with her loss, and her daughter’s mood swings are getting worse. Then she receives a phone call from a woman at a country hotel, confirming details of a booking Rick made before he vanished.
Desperate to find out more about his disappearance, Gina and her daughter take the trip. But there is something very strange about the hotel, and the family that run it.
Soon Gina is unsure that Rick even made the booking – but one thing is clear: both mother and daughter are in serious danger.
The compelling new psychological suspense novel, from the author of Until You’re Mine, Before You Die and You Belong to Me. Perfect for fans of S J Watson and Sophie Hannah.
In Too Deep opens with a heated argument, some questions and a bit of pulling and pushing between 2 characters. The unidentified male unfortunately is on the receiving end of a hit against his head. Queue to the present where Gina’s husband is missing for four months already. He went out to buy a newspaper and never returned. It doesn’t take much to make the link between these two events, now does it? The author does not keep his fate a secret, we are in the so-called loop while everybody else seems to be unaware of his fate. Yet the question remains who was the other person and why has this happened.
It’s only when mother and daughter go on a spa weekend that was booked by Rick as an anniversary surprise that things start to unravel. There is a constant undercurrent of secrecy hanging in the air while they are staying there. Susan, the hotel owner appears friendly and sympathetic, taking a real interest in Gina and her daughter but there’s something about her which is still unsettling. Is she really being sincere? Is she taking too much of an interest and why on earth would she, their everyday lives and worlds are far apart and they don’t know each other? I could feel something going on but didn’t know how to puzzle all this together though for a long time and I had to wait until the author finally diffused this unrelenting simmering tension.
Gina’s despair is so palpable and her emotions so rightfully worded. The author must have gone quite deep for this, perhaps even drawn from her own experience or from seeing someone close to her experience a loss to make it this heartfelt. Her guilt, her hopes, her questions are front and center in her everyday life. My heart ached for her and made me hope that she’d find an answer soon, before her drinking taking its inevitable toll.
Gina’s turmoil is alternated with her daughter’s voice Hannah. People react differently to situations like this and she definitely has another way of approaching her father’s disappearance. She tries to put her emotions under a lid and goes out from the worst scenario. There is also something else going on in her life that worries her and seems to take up a lot of energy. She has some kind of secret, something that started with her picking up an abandoned phone lying under a dustbin and meeting the person who was the last called number. She feels her mother has enough to deal with and she can’t burden her with any more so she keeps it all to herself, although it weighs on her terribly.
The beauty of the novel is revealing bit by bit the secrets her daughter keeps, switching between past events at uni where something caused her to experience some serious heartbreak and the present time where she’s not her old self anymore, and what happened to Gina’s husband. I admit that I did work out one thread of the plotline that concerned Hannah, but there were still some good surprises in the last 10 % of the novel. The writing is excellent, with so much feeling and she was able to sweep me along in this web of mystery effortlessly. The plotline was clever and was able to surprise me on some points but I still kind of would have liked it to have gone in another direction. A good psychological thriller that is sure to keep every reader guessing for the most part of the novel. This isn’t the first novel by Samantha Hayes that I read and it will definitely will not be the last.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.