Lisa Jewell is undoubtedly one of the most popular authors out there. This is especially true of the thriller genre, where she’s one of the current queens, so to speak. Her books seem to sell well and be quite popular, but I’ve honestly found them to be hit and miss. For instance, I loved Then She Was Gone, which was the first one I read, but wasn’t big on the next two (Watching You and The Family Upstairs). They were fine but didn’t really hook me.
When I saw that she was releasing a new novel called Invisible Girl, I reached out and requested a review copy. However, it didn’t end up arriving. Things happen and maybe it got lost in transit. I don’t know. Either way, I ended up borrowing it from the library when I could, and just finished reading it the other day.
Invisible Girl is another mysterious thriller from one of the genre’s top writers. It begins with a woman following another woman, which is an interesting hook that turns even more dangerous when a man starts following the former. After that, it becomes the story of a family — made up of a housewife, a child psychiatrist and their two teenage children — as well as an involuntary celibate schoolteacher and a teenager who was perhaps too curious for her own good. It’s an interesting cast of character types to say the least, and leads to a pretty good story. One that kept me interested when it’s been tough to lose myself in anything.
Seventeen year-old Saffyre Maddox is a girl who doesn’t like being stuck indoors, and she also feels slighted by her psychiatrist dropping her. That psychiatrist happens to be Roan Fours, who lives in a swanky rented flat near Saffyre’s home while his family waits for their damaged house to be rebuilt. She becomes fascinated by him and those around him, while at the same time a strange spurt of sexual assaults begins taking place around London, England.
Then Saffyre goes missing.
Caught up in it all is Owen; a mild mannered schoolteacher who’s considered an incel. Under suspicion of indecent conduct at a high school party, he’s on the hot seat and feels wronged. It was this character that I first read about when I researched this book, and the idea of it being a book about an awful incel worried me. Thankfully Lisa Jewell handled things with a good amount of tact, and developed a well rounded character as a result.
The book is obviously told from multiple vantage points, and for good reason. Unlike at least one book I recently read (I’m talking about you, The Sundown Motel), it’s easy to distinguish who’s narrating (in first-person), and things never got confusing. All of the characters were pretty well written and had depth to them, which was also appreciated.
I’d never say that this is one of the best thrillers, or books, that I’ve ever read. However, I was honestly impressed and kind of surprised by Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell. It was much better than her previous two novels, although not as good as Then She Was Gone, which really stood out. It’s well worth your time.