Greenwich Park; Katherine Faulkner
Simon & Schuster Audio - 2022
(10 hrs. 13 min. - Laura Kirman narrator -good)
Helen Thorpe seems to finally have an almost perfect life. Her husband Daniel has a good job bit works long hours and they have a beautiful home in "Greenwich Park". Finally after a number of pregnancies with not so happy endings, a first baby is on the way. Helen's brother Rory and his wife Serena are also expecting, their due dates are within a few weeks of each other. They are about to begin birthing classes together. When Helen arrives for the class alone, Daniel held up at work yet again, she soon learns that the others including her husband had to cancel unexpectedly as well.
Helen soon finds herself in the company of another woman at the class who is there without a partner. The woman, Rachel, becomes chatty with Helen, asking lots of questions but, not answering ones directed at her. She is Helen's opposite: pushy, a bit crass and she smokes and drinks even during her pregnancy. After the class Rachel begins showing up unexpectedly and seems to always have questions about Helen & Daniel and their life. Helen is too polite to tell Rachel to back off or, to break ties with her. Honestly, Helen is rather lonely with Daniel's long hours and, she does like the way Rachel can make her laugh when they are together. At one point Rachel shows up at Helen's home needing a place to stay for a few days and soon things seem to begin to spiral out of control and, then Helen goes missing.
What is Rachel's real reason for her unusual behavior and her need to find a way into the lives of this couple? Slowing the secrets begin to emerge that some wish were better left buried.
This debut novel is one of those psych thrillers that hooked me early on but, the storyline turned out to be a bit familiar. The story plays out over the last 15 weeks of Helen's pregnancy. I found myself anxious to find out why Rachel was so motivated to be a part of this couple's lives. I liked the way the tension seemed to ratchet up and the way we really got to know the characters. There are a few other characters that added interest to the story - Charlie, Rory's younger brother and Katie, a journalist he was dating. Helen, on the other hand, was a frustrating character for me. Why would a smart woman who finally seems to have the perfect life, with her first baby weeks away, risk allowing a stranger into the mix without knowing her background. Rachel never talked about the father of her baby and seemed to have little interest in impending motherhood.
Told through the POV of (3) characters, at times I felt it was a bit hard to follow on audio as I was unsure who was speaking. I found myself repeating some sections just to be sure. I did think that the story was somewhat longer than need be but, the ending was satisfying so in the end I was happy I finished this one.
Rating - 3.5/5 stars
(Audio download provided to me by the publisher in exchange for me unbiased review)