Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Look behind you by Sibel Hodge

Chloe Benson wakes up to find herself bound and trapped in a dark space underground with no memory of how she got there - the only clue a bump on her head.  Determined to survive, she manages to escape only to find herself in a deeper nightmare.  Somehow weeks have gone by since her last memory, weeks that have seen her committed for her own safety after a severe reaction to a drug.  Because of what happened to her when she took the drugs, and because there are sleeping pills in her system, everyone doubts her story - the doctors, the police, and especially her husband Liam.

Home from the hospital Chloe can't help but feel that something isn't right, that there is something just below the surface she is missing.  Her only logical option is to try and figure out what happened in the seven weeks she can't remember, because somewhere in those seven weeks are the clues she needs to figure out if her kidnapping was a drug induced hallucination or if someone really is trying to harm her.  The more she looks into her past the more Chloe realises that she may still be in danger, and the more she realises that she may be on her own because no one thinks she is really in danger - they all think she has lost the plot again.

I wasn't expecting a lot from Look behind you - mainly because it is a relatively short book and because the description on the back of the book was so brief and generic.  Imagine my surprise then when I picked the book up and didn't put it down again until I had finished all 280 pages in one sitting.  One of the things that sucks you into the story is the fact that you see the world through Chloe's eyes, learning facts only as she learns them which makes the whole world a scary place and one that seems to have Chloe (and you) constantly on edge.  There is not a single moment, from when she opens her eyes underground to the end of the novel, where you are truly on solid footing with the story - the facts seem to shift and turn as soon as Chloe tries to pin them down which leaves you feeling just as confused and unsettled as she is.

This is a quick read, but it is also a very satisfying one - one that can be finished in bite sized chunks of short chapters.  I was not the only person in my family to read Look behind you, my 60+ year old mother also thoroughly enjoyed it.  While Hodge has set the story in the United Kingdom, it could have been written nearly anywhere in the world and there is very little jargon or colloquialisms to knock you out of the story.  A very enjoyable read, and hopefully there will be more in this genre from Hodge in the future.

If you like this book then try:
  • Eeny meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  • The silence of the lambs by Thomas Harris
  • Vodka doesn't freeze by Leah Giarratano
  • The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
  • One step too far by Tina Seskis
  • The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
  • The basement by Stephen Leather
  • The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
  • Level 26: Dark origins by Anthony E. Zuiker and Duane Swierczynski
  • Now you see her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  • The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
  • Private Oz by James Patterson and Michael White
  • The survivors club by Lisa Gardner
  • Darkly dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  • Kill switch by Neal Baer & Jonathan Greene
  • The edge of normal by Carla Norton

Reviewed by Brilla

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