Anna Downes debut novel Safe Place is an intriguing, spellbinding tale that pulls you in to its web. Right from the get go, you know something isn’t right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
Emily is a struggling actress who works temp jobs to stay afloat. Her life is falling apart - she loses her temp job, she’s evicted from her apartment, she botches an audition, and nearly gets hit by a bus, and that’s just the surface layer of Emily’s problems. Scott comes along and offers Emily what seems to be a dream job - working and living on his beautiful, secluded estate and helping his wife care for their daughter as well as estate upkeep. Emily arrives, and everything is serenely beautiful. She fits right in to Scott’s family, and they get along perfectly. However, something doesn’t feel quite right, and there are niggling clues throughout that lead Emily to think that her seemingly perfect job is actually not so perfect. Will Emily figure out her employers’ secrets before it is too late?
Safe Place was a wonderful debut thriller! I loved how Anna Downes places little clues throughout, and how she used flashbacks intermittently to help the reader piece together the story. The characters are intriguing and provide a balance to each other - Emily is a naive young lady that has been through hard times but looks for the good in others; Nina is seemingly a picture perfect wife and mother; Scott is a tortured, rich executive that is doing his best to provide for his family. The estate itself is also practically a character, oozing with charm and beauty. Together, they seem to bring out the best in each other, until they don’t.
Thank you to Anna Downes, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for the early copy!! Safe Place comes out July 14, and you can and should preorder on Amazon using the link below.
Loves: books (hello, book blog), my kiddos, Golden doodles, icecream, classical music, and exploring.