Source: Review copy
Publication: 4th April 2019 from Avon
She wants your life – and she’ll do anything to get it…
Erica has always wanted to be exactly like her neighbour, Faye: beautiful, thin, and a mother. But Faye’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems – she has a terrible secret, and slowly but surely, it is threatening to destroy her and everything she holds dear.
When Faye’s daughter Tamsin goes missing after school, the police turn to Erica. But is Erica the only one who has been enviously watching Faye? Or is there another threat hiding in the shadows…?
Amanda Robson’s latest book is told from the perspective of 4 different people, each of whom has something that ties them together.
Faye is a wife, mother and a model. Beautiful, adored by her husband Philip, she is nevertheless a little insecure and her life is spent preparing to make her big break into modelling.
Erica is Faye’s neighbour. A little frumpy, overweight and from a ‘difficult’ background, she sees Faye every day and her dreams are all about having a life just like Erica’s.
Jonah is Philip’s best friend; an architect, good looking but restless. He’s used to getting what he wants and he doesn’t like it when people say no.
Each of these people has a feeling of discontentment; a resentful longing brought about by someone else’s existence. This is the essence of Amanda Robson’s domestic noir. Told in the third person in sometimes very short chapters, Envy allows the reader to view these lives from the perspectives of each of these four characters.
This technique gives us an insight into the hopes and fears of these characters, as well as allowing us to understand their inner thoughts. These are not characters you are drawn to for their likeability. Rather they are flawed and Robson’s aim seems to be to have the reader speculating just how far each of them is prepared to go to get what they want.
In a dark and sometimes twisted psychological thriller, this is often much further than you might suspect and what goes on behind closed curtains in suburban Surrey is far more dangerous than you might think.
Verdict: Envy is a story of jealousy and obsession that is perfect for that summer getaway you’ve been thinking of all winter.
Amanda Robson, worked as a scientist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and subsequently at the Poison’s unit at Guy’s Hospital, where she became a co-author of a book on cyanide poisoning.
Married to a workaholic barrister, after having her two sons she became a stay-at-home mother for many years.
Amanda attended the Faber Academy writing a novel course run by Richard Skinner in 2011. Her first book Obsession was published with Avon HarperCollins in 2017. She now writes full-time from home, living in Wales and London, with her husband Richard, golden retriever and grouchy old black-and-white cat.
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