Skip to content

Take Me In By Sabine Durrant @SabineDurrant @VeroNorton @MulhollandUK #TakeMeIn

July 8, 2018

Source: Netgalley

Publication: 28 June 2018 from Mulholland Books

Pp 352

ISBN-13: 978-1473608351

A hot beach. A young family on holiday. A fatal moment of inattention…

And now Dave Jepsom is in their lives.

Dave Jepsom, with his muscles, his pale eyes, his expressionless face.

He saved their child. How can they ever repay him? Especially as what he seems to want in return is everything.

He’s in the streets they walk down. He’s at the office where they work. He’s at their front door, leaning on the bell…

If only they could go back. Back to when the lies were still hidden. Before the holiday, before the beach, before the moment that changed everything.

Before Dave.

But it’s never how it starts that matters. It’s always how it ends.

I’m a sucker for Sabine Durrant’s novels and Take Me In is no exception. Durrant’s prose is, as ever, on point and incisive.

Tessa and Marcus are that couple you know. The ones who buy their shopping in Waitrose, sneer gently at the lower classes, live in South West London and are so absorbed in their own lives that they have neglected to tend to their marriage or their three year old son, Josh.

On holiday in Greece Tessa and Mark display the same reckless disregard for each other and in a heart stopping moment of neglect, Josh almost drowns. Fortunately he is rescued the nick of time by Dave Jepsom, a working class builder from Essex who manages at once to make Mark feel less of a man and less of a winner as he stumbled and failed to save his own son.

Durrant’s eye for detail and atmospherically laden descriptions are everything we need to understand the utter horror of this scene. Both Tessa and Marcus are devastated at their failure to be attentive. Tessa feels hugely guilty and simultaneously resentful that Marcus failed to Josh wandering into the sea.

At once we have a compelling scene where the depths and variety of emotions are laid out in front of us. We can see selfishness, terror, self-doubt, guilt and shame. We judge Tessa and Marcus just as much as they judge others.

And judge they do.  Grateful to Jepsom for rescuing Josh, it was always clear to them that he was not someone they would naturally spend time with. So they reluctantly offer to buy him lunch as a thank you and then get away as fast as they can. But maybe Jepsom doesn’t want to quietly disappear from their lives?

Tessa’s guilt at her own reasons for inattention plays into anger with Marcus and the fault lines in their marriage start to turn into ever wider cracks. Their holiday is not a success and Tessa and Marcus turn away from each other. Then once they have got home, Jepsom turns up at their house with a gift for Josh. What does he want?

The cracks in the marriage are exacerbated by both Tessa and Marcus forever seeing Jepsom at every turn once they have got home. As their lives falter and things really start to go awry, they start to become obsessed with the idea that Jepsom is behind all their problems.

Although his appearances have perfectly rational explanations, they feel more and more under threat and a pall of gloom is cast over their lives.

Told in a dual narrative by Marcus and Tessa we quickly come to realise the flaws and frailties of these two unreliable narrators, neither of whom is especially likeable and to witness the slow unravelling of their claustrophobic, smug, self-satisfied lives.

In an atmosphere that is tense, menacing and nerve tingling, the secrets, lies and obsessions of this shallow couple will ultimately be laid bare for the reader and when the explosive conclusion comes, it is both surprising and impactful.

Verdict: A tense and razor sharp psychological thriller that will keep you guessing.

 

About Sabine Durrant

sabinedurrant

Sabine Durrant is the author of three previous psychological thrillers, Under Your Skin, Remember Me This Way and Lie With Me, a Richard & Judy Bookclub selection and Sunday Times paperback bestseller.

She is a former features editor of the Guardian and a former literary editor at the Sunday Times, and her writing has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines. She lives in south London with her partner and their three children.

Follow Sabine on Twitter @SabineDurrant

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Book Bound

For the love of books...

CookingTheBooks

Feeding the soul one story at a time.

Years of Reading Selfishly

Life is too short to read books you don't love

Love the Smell of a Book

Reading, reviewing and sharing the love for our favourite books for both adults and children

BookBathBrew

The Perfect Way to Spend an Evening

Brianne's Book Reviews

Books, Books, Books!

For the Love of Meg

A Blog for all the Books I love to read and all the Films I love to watch

Always Need More Books

Books...need I say more?

Fantastic Reads

"It was impossible of course, but when did that ever stop a dreamer from dreaming?" -Strange The Dreamer by Lani Taylor

Curled up with a good book

Honest Book Reviews, Meet the Author, Blog Tours, Cover Reveals & More!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Free bookreviews and other free book related stuff

HERDING CATS

General ramblings of a busy person

Secret Library Book Blog

Books, Books, Books

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader

Reading under the light of a Carolina moon

Nordic Lighthouse

Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections

%d bloggers like this: