Today I’m delighted to be bringing you my review of Too Close by Natalie Daniels. Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for the invite.
About this book…
For fans of THE GIRLFRIEND and THE WIFE BETWEEN US, TOO CLOSE is a twisting tale of friendship and betrayal.
How close is too close?
Connie and Ness met in the park while their children played. As they talked, they realised they were neighbours. Perhaps it was only natural that they and their families would become entirely inseparable.
But when Ness’s marriage ends in a bitter divorce, she is suddenly at Connie’s house all the time. Connie doesn’t have a moment to herself, no time alone with her husband, not a second to chat to her kids.
It’s all too much. Something has to give.
Connie has woken up in a psychiatric hospital. They say she committed a terrible crime but she says she can’t remember a thing.
Sometimes a cover really calls to you and this one, showing the everyday normality of two takeaway coffee cups, really did call to me from the first moment I saw it. As a psychological thriller, it also had all the elements within those pages that I love with a darkly atmospheric setting, well drawn and often unlikeable characters and a trail of subtly placed breadcrumbs that lead to a twisty finish!
Women’s friendships can be lifelong and often life SAVING when they work well but often they can turn toxic, with accusations of betrayal of those female bonds. So it’s intriguing to watch the burgeoning relationship between Connie and Ness and pick out the clues as to what has happened to lead to the Connie we see in the present day. Connie is in a psychiatric hospital and psychiatrist Emma has been sent in to help her remember what happened. She’s obviously committed a heinous act but is unable to recall why she is now one of the most hated women in the UK. The reader is able to follow the friendship that develops between Connie and Ness from the moment they meet in a children’s park and how that attachment starts to change as life throws a few curveballs their way. I loved how we saw the developments in hindsight whilst watching Emma bring memories back to Connie, who is a world away from the glamorous “yummy mummy” we first meet-now a “yummy monster”.
The plot is very dark and I will warn you now that it can be deeply distressing at times, especially towards the end. But it’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel due to the depths of feelings it evoked in me. The slow build up was perfectly pitched so that the ending was as shocking as it was unexpected. This is one of those books that I guarantee will have you flicking back the pages once you get to the end to reread the last few pages again.
Natalie Daniels has done a great job here with her first psychological thriller and I can’t wait to see where she goes from here!
Meet the author…
Natalie Daniels is the pseudonym for screenwriter, author and actress Clara Salaman who you may recognise as DS Claire Stanton from The Bill. She lives in London and in Northern Spain