Her Every Fear

Peter Swanson

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Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 352


The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder. The danger isn’t all in your head . . . Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapp...

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I've been saying for ages that I'm not really a thriller fan, yet I seem to enjoy nearly every one I read, so I think I should probably change my line on that. I can't say that Her Every Fear lived up to my past experiences. Instead, it surpassed them.

This is definitely one of the darker thrillers I've read lately. I hesitate to say that it falls in "girl" sub-genre, but if you like those sort of books, this one should be down your alley. One of the main character is a young woman as one would expect in such novels, but she's more of a "hook" into the story. Kate is a well-drawn character with a devastating backstory and readers cannot help but feel protective towards her.

That does not mean that this book does not have unreliable narrators--it does, but Kate is not one of them. There are 4 other narrators (I won't go into who they are as that might be a bit spoiler-ish) and they are at leas questionable, if not unreliable. Swanson successfully switches between these narrators seamlessly. We don't get a heading at the top of each chapter, telling us who we're hearing from; yet there is never any confusion about who is talking. Narrators don't switch on a chapter by chapter basis, but rather there are chunks told by this person, then this person, etc.

I realized "whodunnit" about halfway through the book, but I'm sure that was Swanson's plan. The terror of this book is not who committed the crime. Instead it is the how and why--and how are the other characters going to survive. I will say that this book contains some scenes of graphic violence, so take heed if that is something to which you are sensitive. I will say the inner-workings of the minds of some of the characters gave me chills more than the actual violence.

Swanson's prose is a perfect fit for this style of novel. It's clear, but still builds up tension. In a book that is so plot-driven, I don't need flowery prose, but I do need the sense of urgency--and Swanson delivers on both counts. I hadn't planned to plow through this book as quickly as I did, but it was a testament to how I just couldn't put it down. If you are looking for a thriller that will get your heart pumping and give you the shivers, this is the book for you.


Bookaxe Characteristics for Her Every Fear

Character and Plot:

Characters in depth

Fast-paced plot

Language and Style:

Straight to the point

Language and style central

New Information:

Pure entertainment

Introduces you to new ideas


Explores the darker side of life
Light-hearted and optimistic


No swearing or violence etc
Frequent swearing and violence etc

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