This is the writer´s second standalone. Liz (or Elizabeth) Rigbey grew up in America but lives in the UK today. My review of her debut.
The first lines:
“My mother told my sister and me this story many times. How it took days for the train to cross Russia and how, by the time they reached the border, it was clear that the baby was dead.”
Soon the first-person narrator tells us about another dead baby:
“It´s a spring day, cold, but each time I cross a street the sun appears at the end of it like some advertising gimmick which glimmers from every billboard. I cut through the park. I watch the babies sitting inside their buggies, their bodies passive, their faces uninhabited like people on the subway. It´s a full three years since I held a baby. It´s almost exactly three years.”
And children of all ages who die or are hurt in accidents are a recurrent theme in this exciting but dark story. In the beginning Lucy Schaffer´s family seem to be close-knit and fairly happy despite her poor mother´s schizophrenia. But I turned page after page to find out what on earth was going on beneath the surface.
First-person narrators may deceive us, but as we are reminded here, our own memories may not be very reliable either. So the important question is, whose memories are we supposed to believe?
I bought the book myself. Strongly recommended if you love well-wrought psychological suspense.