The Courier by Holly Down #BookReview

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Five years ago, Laurel Lovejoy had it all. The high-powered city job, the loving husband, the perfect daughter. Now, she is forty and alone, and working for a courier service. But she has discovered that being a delivery driver comes with a superpower: it makes her invisible. People accept her presence without question. They go about their lives, unaware of just how much she sees – how much she knows.

Laurel is particularly fascinated by the residents of Paradise Found, an exclusive gated cul-de-sac. She sometimes even finds her way there when she’s not working, using her days off to soak up as much information about the inhabitants and their lives as she can. Everyone needs a hobby.

Then one day Laurel sees something in one of the houses – something that blows her whole world apart, and will have devastating consequences for everyone involved . . .

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star three and a half

First of all, this is the first novel that I read where corona and social distancing is part of the plotline. I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to read about the lockdown in a novel but it actually felt more than okay. It certainly triggered memories to the days we were all confined in our homes and somehow I quite enjoyed this trip down memory lane. It was so recognizable for me but even in the future I actually think it’s great for next generations to read about too and to see how life was at that time. I wonder if they’ll think this part of the story was completely made up too. With the shops closed we ordered more than ever online and so I think it was quite clever of the author to introduce Laurel as a courier for a delivery company. As it was back then she had to keep her distance, but that is something she really doesn’t do!

Laurel wasn’t the most likeable character for a number of reasons but her unhealthy interest in the lives of the residents of the six houses of Paradise Found totally gets out of hand. How far can you go to get to know someone? She wants to know everything about her customers, who they are, what they buy, and one day she even goes through someone’s trash! That’s not the end of the line but only the start of everything. Laurel has major issues and with her drinking she’s a very unreliable narrator so I couldn’t be one hundred percent sure if what she thought she had found out was true or not, although I had my own ideas.

Laurel had it all, the husband, the child, the nice house and a great job but in the present it’s all gone. Laurel is all alone, trying to hold on to her job and the rest of her time is spent either at Missing Mums meetings or drinking at her apartment. I really didn’t like her drinking but to cut her some slack her grief over the loss of her daughter was in her every thought. It seemed Laurel lost her little girl Sophie at a young age and she feels guilty but it was unclear what had really happened until the end because she doesn’t want to share her story at Missing Mums but does remark on her feelings and her daughter on a regular basis.

There was a big twist in each of the two storylines and my enjoyment of these twists are essentially on opposite sides. I give big points for this one surprising twist where the author created some specific expectations about the disappearance of her daughter where I thought myself quite clever but it still turned out different from what I had expected. A good different, with a lot of emotions. The other twist came entirely out of left field and left the story open ended. Shock value guaranteed!

I didn’t like Laurel all that much for the majority of the novel, first because she doesn’t seem the best mother, also because of her indiscretions, her lying and crossing the line with her work. I even symphathised with some residents when she tries to engage them unwillingly in sharing information about themselves, but in the end I recognised she wasn’t a bad person, I understood her better and when she finally won me over I didn’t get the satisfaction of knowing everything would be all right so when I finally got to that place I also wanted a different ending, a more happy ending and I feel like I was cheated out of it. In theory the author left room for a sequel but I wasn’t a fan of this twist nor how it was wrapped up, so instead of 4 or 4.5 stars I’ve ultimately decided to give 3.5 stars.

I received a paperback copy of this novel in my Capital Crime subscription box. This is my honest opinion.


6 thoughts on “The Courier by Holly Down #BookReview

    • There were already things about lockdown I had forgotten.. the way couriers had to put a package down and take pictures from a distance… Maybe others will like the twist more but it only raises more questions of why something happened in those last pages, and the harsh fact that you never really knew the characters in the novel.

      Liked by 1 person

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