Julia has a seemingly perfect life - the lovely house and caring family that most aspire to - but she's about to put it all at risk. When her sister Kate dies in mysterious circumstances, Julia finds herself trawling internet dating sites for clues to Kate's last movements. Soon though she finds herself attracted to one of the men she meets there....and living a double life.
Now, S J Watson's debut Before I Go To Sleep was a stunner - and left wondering how he could ever follow it. BIGTS had a special 'hook' - the mere thought of waking up each morning with a memory wiped clean is terrifying - which is missing this time. Second Life is, should I say, a 'normal' thriller - but even so it's brilliant!
It starts a little slowly and it's not obvious at first which way the plot is going (and I'm not going to tell you) plus, in the way of the best thrillers, some truths only come tumbling out of the woodwork at the very end. But give it a chapter or two and it will have you hooked - much as Julia is!
I got the impression from the very start that Julia was a little bit bored with her safe respectable husband, the guy who 'saved' her from her younger more wayward self, so she was ready and willing to stir things up a bit and get some excitement back in her life. What she finds, though, is an obsession or addiction taking over her life, leading her on to increasingly risky behaviour that could end up with her losing everything and everyone she holds dear. I was reminded in part of Deborah Kay Davies novel of obsession True Things About Me but Second Life has an additional hook - who killed Kate? was it an almost motiveless attack or did something more sinister lie behind it?
I'm glad to say that Second Life lived up to all my expectations - a tense, mesmerising thriller that you'll want to read in one sitting, with an ending that stunned me!
Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - DoubledayGenre- adult psychological thriller