With this being the first novel by Sarah Pinborough I have only two words, Good Job. The plot is original and gripping. The events flow decently; the motives and the reactions of the characters are true and completely believable. Getting into the mind of both predator and prey, she takes you on a roller coaster ride where evil awaits with bated breath. Hell even the morally depraved and damaged can be redeemed. I loved it! The atmosphere is filled with a sense of hopeless abandon and a stink of rot. I suggest a scalding hot shower to relieve you of said odor.
The characters are a bit too clichéd, have little or no history and too many questions go unanswered. For example, what happened to Elizabeth Ray between 14 and 40? What kind of childhood did Rachel have? Was the wholesome neighbor, Mike, a stalker? If he only met her a few times, how did he know so much about her? How did Murray's wife die? How many people were killed in Ray's house? Oh I could go on, but I won't. I've decided because it is Pinborough's first book, I will overlook the players ... just this once.
The pace in the book is fanatical, almost dangerous. The tension explodes on the first page and climbs steadily and with stealth. Warning: If you are a nail-biter do not, I repeat do not, read this book without first using precautionary measures. Pinborough's style of writing is compassionate, quick-witted, and above all else compelling. The descriptions are graphic and textured, evoking the scenarios with grotesque imagery. Excellent!