Monday, October 17, 2016

The Vanishing Year - Kate Moretti


Sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review:

Book Info: Thriller (384pp)

Pick it up now: Amazon UK/Amazon US/Goodreads

Rating: 4/5

Audience: Readers looking for a darker shade of thriller full of twists and surprises.

Summed up in a few words: Unpredictable. Contrasting. Unsettling. 

Book/Summary: Zoe Whittaker appears to have a charmed life. Newly married to a rich an attentive man, she has the best of everything. But five years ago, Zoe's life was in danger. Because back then, Zoe wasn't Zoe at all. 

When an attempt is made on her life, Zoe fears that her past has caught up with her. But who can she ask for help when even her own husband doesn't know her real name?

Zoe must decide who she can trust before she - whoever she is - vanishes completely....
(Official Synopsis)

Story/Plot/Narration: Zoe Whittaker lives the high class lifestyle, with expensive clothes, jewellery and posh cars. Zoe gives back to the community with her charity work but she enjoys all the benefits of having a high profile husband. Her world gets shaken when a guest at one of Zoe's charity events calls her by another name - Hillary Lawlor. Zoe flees the room before anymore damage can be done, no one in her new life knows about her past and she aims to keep it that way. 

It is only when she is the target of a hit and run that she starts to believe that the past is rearing its ugly head. Zoe tries to get a head of matters before people start asking more questions. Zoe searches for help from the people she was trying hard to forget, but the deeper she sinks into the past, the further she drifts from her husband. Henry Whittaker is not about to let his wife get back to her old ways, he has big plans for her aswell.

The Vanishing Year is a dark, thrilling, scary and claustrophobic tale of a woman who's life seems to be boxing her in from all sides. Zoe wants to belong, she has drifted for so long but trouble always seems to haunt her and she has had enough. I was impressed with this story overall but there were points when I questioned if the book was for me. The first act was full of happiness, riches and romance, with flashbacks to the person who Zoe used to be and the people she misses, let down or caused trouble for. I did set the book down a few times and ask myself if personally I would enjoy or appreciate this book...

I kept assuring myself it was and I was glad I stuck with it as the second and third acts are intense, gut wrenching and anxiety ridden where you don't know who is genuine and who is out to get Zoe. It is cheesy but I was literally on the edge of my seat, yelling at myself for not seeing parts coming so I truly recommend this book to anyone who love to keep themselves guessing all the way through a novel. 

There are many books like this on the market right now but this one in my book blogging opinion is one of the better ones I have read so far. The Vanishing Year had me experiencing a range of emotions, I feared for Zoe, I was upset, there was so much suspense and I did not see any of the twist coming at all. 

The tone is definitely darker than other thrillers and it doesn't really let up with the anxious, looking over her shoulder all the time feel. The language at the beginning of the novel focuses on the higher class society and the lifestyle they live, but as Zoe is dragged deeper into the person she used to be, that swiftly changes and the language becomes harsher and more informal and I really liked that change in contrast. 

If you like suspense and thrills then you will get them here, Kate Moretti does not break any new ground so to speak but she can write damn good twists. As I said earlier, I was questioning my commitment to reading this book towards the beginning of the book, I felt that it was not suited to my tastes but something kept me invested and I believe it was the range of possibilities that Kate Moretti left open to her characters and I was always interested to see where she was going with her plot.

Ooooh the characters. I can't really talk about these here with out spoiling the build up to the main core of the plot. Zoe is unpredictable, she longs to be rooted to someone but has never had any luck, she let down the one person who matters and it haunts her. This drive forces her to look deep into her life and address everything that has happened, this includes her marriage to Henry. 

Henry is an enigma that Zoe doesn't really want to deal with, he loves her, he spoilers her and he focuses on her so she just lets it be. It is only after she starts to delve into her life that the cracks start to show and question upon question plague her vision of their perfect marriage. The other key character here is Cash, a reporter looking into things for Zoe, he provides some lighter moments as well and causes conflict.

I enjoyed my time with Kate Moretti's book, it has been a while since I have had some good old fashioned, straight edge thrills and though I always prided myself on knowing things before they were going to happen, that went out the window with The Vanishing Year. My least favourite aspect of this piece was the beginning act, I didn't relate with any language, behaviour (Zoe's choice to hold a high profile event if she is trying to hide her presence) or characters and it made me doubt that I would see it to the end. Stick with it and you will be rewarded with a eventful, brutal and human experience of the past coming back to bite you. I recommend this book to you all and if you do read it I would love to know what you thought! Thank you to Kate Moretti, I look forward to reading more of your material.

About the Author: Kate Moretti the author of many bestselling novels, including Thought I Knew You, While You Were Gone and Binds That Tie. Kate is an avid reader and a quality author. Find out more about Kate Moretti at her website

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