So, when this jumped on my radar (thanks Helen from Helen Richardson PR), I went "Ooooh" over it and felt this would tickle that sweet spot of domestic crime fiction I like.
Title and Author: The Daughter by Liz Webb
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction.
Hannah's life is beginning to spiral. Her father has dementia, she hasn't spoken to her estranged TV actor brother, Ryan, in years and her mother's, Jen, death still haunts the family with no one knowing the truth about the night she died.
Now the same age as her mother, Hannah is disturbed to realise how much she looks like her mother. Especially with her father thinking Hannah is Jen at times, and he's begging her to forgive him. And with this, Hannah finds herself wondering: is it the dementia talking, or is there something dark behind his words? Did he kill her mother?
Determined to discover the truth before her father dies, Hannah begins to make herself look more like Jen and the lines between them begin to dangerously blur...
This is the book of two halves. The first half's a slow burn. And because of that, it cane be a tad of a struggle, which I completely get why. A lot of things are thrown at the reader - not plot wise but character building wise. You have to understand why Hannah acts and thinks the way she does. Same goes with Ryan and their father. You have to get why they act and have the way they do. And that, at times, made it quite uncomfortable reading and, which this happened, I did consider quitting the book as I found Hannah and several other main characters quite unlikable and I feared that Liz Webb would be able to pull off writing a mystery that I would be gripped by and making me warm to the characters ands their situation.
But something happened around the halfway mark. I have no idea what, but once it was revealed why Hannah had to move back home and why Hannah and Ryan don't speak to each other, the story picked up pace sharply and things moved at speed. All characters and the truth begun to unravel and came together at break neck speed and elements made sense.
You know, this reminded me of the show I was watching at the time of reading: The Flight Attendant starring Kaley Cuoco (the first season. At the time of writing, season two haven't dropped yet and I have no plans to watch season two), and how the show tackled memory, mental health, trauma, and drinking. I'll pop the trailer for season one below, in case you're wondering. Because of this, it made me wondering if this would work as a TV show - maybe a home-grown thriller that Channel 5 seem to be making of late.
This is a slow burn of a thriller that looks at family, the darkness within them and how far you would go for them, even when you realise that your memory of them is wrong...