Recent Events

Saturday 8 October 2016

‘Second Life’ by S.J. Watson

Published by Harper,
21 June 2016.
ISBN 978-0-0620-6059-4 (PB)

From the publisher:  When Julia learns that her sister has been violently murdered, she wants to know why.  But her quest quickly evolves into an alluring exploration of her own darkest sensual desires.  As she becomes entangled with a dangerous stranger online, she’s losing herself . . .
losing control . . . perhaps losing everything.  This search for answers will jeopardize her marriage, her family and her life.

In the process of trying to find the answers as to the identity of her beloved sister’s murderer, Julia starts to inhabit the “second life” of the title, one conducted virtually, rather than the rather more mundane one most of us inhabit, when she reaches out through an online site that she discovers her sister had used.  Initially it was only “an opportunity to find out what happened to my sister,” but it becomes much more than that, something much more dangerous.  At one point, she asks herself “Do secrets always come out in the end?”  The secrets she herself has to keep come close to destroying everything she holds dear:  Julia is married to a very successful surgeon, and has a now-almost-fourteen-year-old son [the child of her unmarried sister whom she had adopted when he was just a baby, her sister unable to deal with motherhood], both of whom she loves very much.

This novel was a departure for this reviewer, containing as it does a fairly large amount of sex and profanity, and some violence as well. Nonetheless, I found myself caught up in the tale, and the pages turned very quickly to the unexpected denouement.  Proving once again that one can’t judge a book by its cover, or its unexpected paths.
Reviewer:  Gloria Feit

S. J. Watson's first novel, Before I Go To Sleep, became a phenomenal international success. A bestseller around the world, it won the Crime Writers' Association Award for Best Debut Novel and the Galaxy National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year.  The film of the book, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, and directed by Rowan Joffe, was released in September 2014 and is now available on DVD.
S. J. Watson was born in the Midlands and now lives in London.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

No comments:

Post a Comment