Her Every Fear

“This is a massive story, you know that? There’s bound to be a TV movie ramping up in production right now.”

Page 325 of Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson could, quite easily, have been breaking the fourth wall as this very impressive thriller draws to a close. As with The Girl Before, I’ve devoured Her Every Fear and I’m currently sat here, exhausted, impressed and more than anything, inspired.

After being brutally attacked by her paranoid, controlling ex-boyfriend, London-based Kate Priddy agrees to a bold apartment swap with her cousin Corbin Dell, who she’s never met, meaning she leaves for Boston, America. However, upon arrival, Kate learns Corbin’s next-door neighbour Audrey Marshall was murdered. The police begin asking questions and Kate learns of Corbin’s relationship with Audrey, as well as suspicions of his neighbours, leaving Kate with an abundance of questions and very few answers…

…the truth turns out to be more warped than Kate, or myself, could have imagined.

Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination play out her every fear, Kate can barely trust herself let alone any of the strangers in this world she’s just entered, but the truth turns out to be more warped than Kate, or myself, could have imagined.

It’s a book scrumptious in its detail. Swanson builds a world in your mind, it’s vast, visual and vivacious, and there was a point reading Her Every Fear where I thought to myself, ‘this has just got really good’.

Aside from the disturbing endgame which lifts Her Every Fear beyond your bogstandard thriller, the book’s pacing is one of the aspects that impressed me most. The story is anchored by Kate with the majority of the chapters told from her perspective, though we’re given the points of view of Corbin, neighbour Alan Cherney and Corbin’s friend, Henry Wood.

Swanson balances the mix expertly. You’re given the right insight at the right time. The book is enhanced by a fresh, new layer at the opportune moment. The story never lags. It’s always got just enough to keep it going, keeping it interesting and keeping you wanting to flick through the pages to learn more.

The four central characters – Kate, Corbin, Alan and Henry – are each fascinating in their own right. None of them are perfect. They have their baggage. Each of them could carry the novel on their own but Swanson was absolutely right to take the opportunity to offer insight into each of them. It was simply too good to turn down.

They’re an abundance of layers. They feel real. They feel alive. In the characters there are truly four stories in one, Kate’s battle to bounce back from her past trauma in a new city, Alan’s obsessiveness, the relationship between Corbin and Henry and, well, Henry. I’d happily read a book on each of them. There is just a wealth of material to explore and Swanson provided just enough to keep me satisfied.

Adapt this for TV. Adapt this for TV! ADAPT THIS FOR TV!

Her Every Fear is the full package with regards to a thriller. It’s a delicious read, brilliantly paced, terrifically written and brought to life through the eyes of a fascinating blend of deep, interesting characters.

As a closing note, I’ve got three things to say: Adapt this for TV. Adapt this for TV! ADAPT THIS FOR TV!

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