Review: Safe With Me by K.L. Slater

Monday 10 October 2016
Title: Safe With Me
Author: K.L. Slater
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 3rd November 2016
Pages: 324
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even …

Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?

I am currently on a Bookouture binge and Safe With Me is one of the books I picked up recently not knowing exactly what to expect. What followed was a tense twenty-four hours as I read this book at every available opportunity. Regular readers of my blog might remember those books that I become so consumed by that I download them to the Kindle app on my iPhone to read them whenever I can (such as shopping in ASDA or walking to and from work), Safe With Me became one of those books because I couldn't wait to see how it was going to end.

In Safe With Me we mostly follow the character of Anna who is a bit of a damaged character and one who as the book progressed became so unpredictable that I actually felt quite frightened more than once as I read. She is witness to a devastating road accident where she recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life thirteen years ago. Anna immediately spots the opportunity to get revenge on Carla, first by befriending Liam, the man injured in the accident. Anna soon becomes obsessed with Carla and Liam, and soon the question in my head was who is the dangerous one here? It all pointed at Anna who would stop at nothing to get her revenge. If you haven't already then do not read the blurb because having finished the book it almost gives quite a big plot twist away.

At the beginning of the novel we see Anna as a woman who shuts herself off from the world apart from those she sees at work as a postal worker for the Royal Mail or next door neighbour Joan Peat. This is all because of something that happened in her past. Something that she blames Carla for and as the book progresses some of the chapters show us what happened thirteen years ago to make Anna have such a hatred for Carla. (One niggle here is that Carla had an iPhone thirteen years ago and they didn't exist then). Anna soon develops a quite unhealthy attachment to Liam and really pushes her way into his life and that of his grandmother. It was quite uncomfortable reading the lengths she went through to ingratiate herself into their lives and she soon finds herself on a real downward spiral. Because the characters are so well-drawn and realistic, I did find the story quite believable and even though Anna wasn't a wholly likeable character, there were reasons for the way she was behaving and I could feel some kind of sympathy for her. I'm just glad she doesn't deliver my mail.

In terms of how the story progresses it is of course difficult to talk in any more detail about it except to say that I didn't work out where it was going or what was ultimately going to happen to Anna and the rest of the characters. One of my favourites was Joan and there was even a big surprise involved with this character too. That's what I loved about this book, the dangers and the twists came from everywhere and when you least expected them. As you read you know the worst is coming, I felt like I was witnessing something that I really shouldn't be witnessing and yet I couldn't take my eyes off my Kindle, or press its screen quick enough to finish this story. I was mostly impressed with the plot itself because I had a few ideas in my head of how the story was going to end, or about the true intentions of some of the characters and none of them were right. I am going to put that down to Kim Slater's ability to lead the reader down the wrong path and her brilliant storytelling rather than my own obliviousness to the little nuances throughout. Safe With Me is a remarkable debut novel and I am incredibly excited to read more from Kim Slater.

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