"I do, Charlie, I do understand. And we really appreciate everything you do, Maggie and I; we do appreciate it, I promise, all the long hours and hard work, and we love you for it. Placated, you nod and I breathe a sigh of relief. For a moment there I wasn't too sure which way things would go, and I realize that I am constantly living on a knife-edge, where even one sentence taken in slightly the wrong manner can mean the difference between war and peace. "......
This psychological thriller is about a married couple, Sal and Charlie. They love each other but the edges have frayed and neither is happy anymore. Sal would leave but can't. The reasons are many and become oh so clear how easy it is to stay and how hard it is to go. Like being mired in quicksand. You are taken on a ride where the clues of what will eventually happen are warning you of the impending danger. One is the controller and one gives in to save peace for their daughter, Maggie.
Told back and forth between Sal and Charlie's point of view. Charlie can rationalize the behavior and place blame on Sal. After all, Charlie is the one who works hard for the family, and thinks Sal sits around all day doing nothing at home with Maggie. Sal does the best that can be done, everything but leave that is. Always trying to anticipate Charlie's moods and behavior.
Domestic violence is so much more than physical acts of abuse. The mental cruelty throughout this book is heart wrenching. Charlie is not someone you will like.
Charlie gets involved in something shady at work. Proving that everything about Charlie is off, and has little distinction between right and wrong. Sal is attempting to make a new life, but there will be a drastic outcome for all involved when fate brings everything together.
Surprise ending, but I did suspect it. Still a gripping suspense. In one sense the domestic violence is just a peek at what it's really like and as in real life one doesn't know how badly it will end, just that it will end badly.
Thank you Netgalley and Carina UK Publishers