- Author: Eva Lesko Natiello
- Published: June 2014 by Fine Line Publishing
- Category: Psychological Thriller
What would you do if you Googled yourself and discovered something shocking?
In this gripping psychological thriller, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women.
Caroline Thompson, a suburban mother of two, keeps as much distance as she can from the town’s gossipmongers, and their insatiable need to dig into everyone’s lives. The latest craze is googling everyone to see what they can uncover to add fuel to their nasty gossip. They could only find three hits for Caroline, which initially is reassuring, but gives Caroline the idea to google her maiden name, which no-one in town knows. As she scrolls through hit after hit, what she finds terrifies her. How can she not remember such momentous and life changing episodes from her past.
I think about my measly three Google hits as we walk by them, and I can’t help but feel slightly inferior.
Meg and I don’t say a word until we’re well past them.
Once we’re down the hill, she says, “Were they talking about that au pair again?” She shakes her head, “As if it isn’t painful enough without their…going at it, like some – I don’t know…”
Out of nowhere, my sister flashes through my mind. It’s not the first time Meg has reminded me of JD. She’d say something like that. Both of them have an ability to soar above the clothesline of others’ dirty laundry. They rarely engage in it. With JD living so far away I’m lucky to have Meg to keep me grounded.
What follows are Caroline’s attempts to piece together the explosive information Google has thrown up. The more she uncovers, the worse it gets. It appears her nice, comfortable life is built on a foundation of shocking lies and deception. As Caroline becomes ever more confused and panic stricken, her behaviour becomes more and more outlandish. I honestly couldn’t see where this was going or how it could be resolved. There’s plenty of suspense and drama from Caroline’s point of view but I couldn’t understand why nobody was picking up on her weird behaviour and the fact she’s unravelling before their eyes. Or why Caroline wasn’t confiding in her husband, her best friend, someone who could offer her support.
All becomes clear in part two! A completely unexpected and unusual twist … and then some, with another surprise development at the very end. This is a very imaginative and unconventional telling of a story within a story. A couple of little niggles for me were over description in parts and Caroline’s thought processes which became quite repetitive, but could, of course, be intentional to show how she is gradually becoming more deeply disturbed. That said, it’s a very unpredictable read with many layers and an obsessive protagonist who has to be in control.
Reviewed for Rosie Amber’s book review team and based on a digital copy from the author. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
About Eva Lesko Natiello
Eva Lesko Natiello is an award winning author and graduate of The State University of New York at Albany with a degree in psychology. Her professional experience includes cosmetics industry Public Relations and Communications executive.
Ms. Natiello is a native of Yonkers, New York and currently lives and writes in suburban NJ, which provides the setting for the fictional town in her debut psychological thriller, THE MEMORY BOX, a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLER.. It is a recipient of the Houston Writers Guild Manuscript award. She is particularly fascinated by misconceptions, especially when normalcy appears to be prevalent. This theme carries over to her second novel, currently in progress. When not writing suspense novels, she enjoys writing humorous musings about life’s ironies, which can be found on her blog: writing from the intersection of oops, yikes and awe at evanatiello.com. Her short story, The Wordsmith, was a finalist in The Writer Magazine 2012 Best Short Story.
According to Ms. Natiello, “The sign of a good day is when the creative process in some form—be it writing, painting, or singing—has pried its way into the mundane.”