“Wildly entertaining.”–New York Times Book Review
From the bestselling and award-winning author comes a wickedly clever and fast-paced novel of greed, revenge, obsession—and quite possibly the perfect murder.
Simon and Vicky couldn’t seem more normal: a wealthy Chicago couple, he a respected law professor, she an advocate for domestic violence victims. A stable, if unexciting marriage. But one thing’s for sure … absolutely nothing is what it seems. The pair are far from normal, and one of them just may be a killer. When the body of a beautiful socialite is found hanging in a mansion in a nearby suburb, Simon and Vicky’s secrets begin to unravel. A secret whirlwind affair. A twenty-million-dollar trust fund about to come due. A decades-long grudge and obsession with revenge. These are just a few of the lies that make up the complex web…and they will have devastating consequences. And while both Vicky and Simon are liars, just who exactly is conning who? Part Gone Girl, part Strangers on a Train, Look Closer is a wild rollercoaster of a read that will have you questioning everything you think you know.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
Look Closer by David Ellis is a wickedly devious psychological thriller about a couple – Simon and Vicky – and their very complicated, secret-filled lives.
Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
The cover is creepy. It shows a woman in a sheered lighted window, unaware of the lone person in the street below. It’s nighttime, and the road is empty of cars. The blurb on the back talks of a fast-paced thriller about a web of deceit and revenge, greed, and obsession. The blurb sounds mind-blowing, so I expect quite the thrill ride with this one.
Actual Reading Experience:
Look Closer is the type of thriller that, when you get done, all you can do is think, “Wow! How? Just how does someone think up a plot so devious you simultaneously are in awe and reeling from the shock.” You know the type, right? It’s exceptionally clever, and once the twists and turns start, all you can do is hold on and hope you can resume breathing before it becomes an issue. When you start the book, you think you are being told who the killer is. But, as the title suggests, you need to look closer because underneath that chapter lies layer after layer of lies and deceit.
The story is told from four points of view. One, the policewoman, Jane, is the only POV told in the third person. The other three – Simon, Vicky, and Christian – are all told in the first person and may or may not be unreliable. The story also moves back and forth, then further back. Just given these details, you can start to see what kind of crazy ride you have just boarded. I figured out early on that I needed to let go of any semblance of control and just let the story take me away into its very complex world.
The start of the book truly is like the start of a roller coaster ride, where you are taking a leisurely and slow-ish trip up, but you know, in the back of your mind, that what goes up must come down. And boy, once you go down and whip around that first corner, all you can do is hold on until the ride stops. There are many drops and corners to whip around on this ride. Just when you think there can’t possibly be more, the ride starts an upward trek again, and you realize it’s not ending anytime soon but will keep you holding on for dear life. That’s the best way I can describe my reading experience. I loved every minute of this crazy, clever ride.
I don’t want to say a lot. It’s one of those stories that the less you know going in, the better your reading experience will be. Just know that if you love psychological thrillers, this one will be at the top of your list of ones you enjoyed the most.
The main characters – Vicky and Simon, are surprisingly well-developed. I say surprisingly because in stories such as this, often, the characters start and end in an enigmatic state to ensure that the reader is surprised with each twist. In this book, though, those twists bring out more and more of the main characters’ stories, so by the end, I felt I had a pretty good idea of who these people are and why they do what they do.
What It Reminds Me Of:
Look Closer reminds me of an Alice Feeney story because of its clever twists and turns.
To Read or Not to Read:
If you love psychological thrillers, Look Closer is a book you will not want to miss this summer. I consider it a must-read.