Title: Take Me In
Author: Sabine Durrant
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Date of Publication: 28th June 2018
Date of Review: 19th March 2018
A hot beach. A young family on holiday. A fatal moment of inattention…And now Dave Jepsom is in their lives. Dave Jepsom, with his muscles, his pale eyes, his expressionless face. He saved their child. How can they ever repay him? Especially as what he seems to want in return is everything. He’s in the streets they walk down. He’s at the office where they work. He’s at their front door, leaning on the bell…If only they could go back. Back to when the lies were still hidden. Before the holiday, before the beach, before the moment that changed everything. Before Dave. But it’s never how it starts that matters. It’s always how it ends.
I’ve had another novel by this author on my TBR for a while (Lie With Me) so when I received the Advance Reader Copy for Take Me In, which is due for publication 28th June 2018, I couldn’t wait to read and review this.
The first thing to stand out for me was its dual first-person narrative which is told through the perspectives of Tessa (the mother) and Marcus (the father). This immediately made me think of Gone Girl.
The story starts with the couple arriving on holiday with their young son. Time for them to spend quality time together and mend their failing marriage. Marcus is the first character the reader gets to know. Although written from his own perspective, he is portrayed as selfish, lazy, and a bit of a wet blanket. After settling on the beach on the first day of their holiday, Tessa has gone to the toilets to change into her swimming costume, leaving Marcus to keep an eye on their young son, Josh. Instead of doing that, Marcus dozes off as he relaxes on the beach; when Josh toddles off down to the sea, it is left to a stranger (Dave) to save him from drowning. But is Tessa completely blameless in all of this?
Marcus and Tessa are both eternally grateful for Dave’s actions but as time progresses we see that Dave isn’t who he’s portrayed himself to be. The story centres around the inner conflict of both Marcus and Tessa and the inadequacies they feel about themselves. The novel is full of unlikeable and unreliable characters and the plot ping-pongs between which of the first-person narrators the reader empathises with. By the end of the book I was left feeling Marcus wasn’t such a drip and Tessa wasn’t the innocent devoted wife and mother, as I originally thought.
True to it’s genre, the novel is full of red herrings. The final twist took me by surprise, which is quite something, a first for me actually!
I enjoyed this book and, as a bookaholic, I would buy the hard-copy book when it comes out in June even though I have read the pre-publication Kindle version.
Right, I’m off to read lie With Me this author’s other novel patiently waiting on my TBR.
I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars.