Thursday, March 12, 2015

Her by Harriet Lane

The protagonist in Lane's psychological thriller, Nina Bremner, keeps everyone in the dark, including the reader, which makes for a totally compelling plot that keeps you hooked.

Nina, an artist, lives in the same English neighborhood as Emma, a frazzled mother of two, and spots her for the first time at the market. Hoping not to be seen, she scoots out without being detected. Later, she calls Emma to inform her that she found her wallet on the ground in the store and offers to drop it by. In the subsequent chapter you learn that Nina actually took the wallet out of Emma's purse when her back was turned.

The two form a friendship, one that seems perfectly natural to Emma, but Nina's motives are anything but altruistic. Nina keeps up a charade of acting like a helpful friend, but commits actions, many cringe-worthy, to intentionally torture Emma. The actions continue to escalate and become darker, but to what end?

This is what really makes the pages fly by, as you want to know why Nina does what she does. The chapters alternate between the voices of Nina and Emma, so the reader is privy to what Emma thinks is happening and what Nina is actually doing. You know early on that Emma and Nina have a past connection, but nothing more is revealed, and the ending may leave readers unsatisfied. I don't know if I have ever read another book that ended more abruptly. Perhaps Lane is planning a sequel?

No comments: