From the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, Lisa Lutz’s latest blistering thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past: you’ll want to buckle up for the ride!
In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...
Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.
She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.
It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?
With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Three stars: A riveting thriller, but it fails to tie up too many loose ends.
Tanya stares at the body of her husband, sprawled out at the foot of the stairs. He must have fallen and hit is head while she was in the shower. She should call the police and report his accident, but instead she pours herself a strong drink and ponders her choices. Tanya makes the decision to run, as she doesn't want the police asking questions, and she worries that the truth about her past might come out. As Tanya crisscrosses the country, dying her hair, changing her name and looking for a place to hide, she comes to the realization that she can continue to run, but will she ever truly be able to escape the past?
What I Liked:
- The Passenger is certainly going to end up being one of those buzzed about thrillers that people are going to be talking about for months to come. I can tell you it is a riveting read, one I couldn't put down, but I had a few issues. Still if you want a a page turner, this is one to grab. It is exciting, suspenseful and filled with twists.
- At the heart of the story is Tanya. She is in her late twenties, without a purpose or identity. Throughout the book, she is constantly on the run, changing her name, her looks and even her personality as she tries to hide from her past. It is hard to get a grasp on her because she is a chameleon, she doesn't have a true identity. At first, I was sympathetic toward Tanya, but as she continue to flee, I started to like her less and less, until by the end, I didn't like her at all. She makes plenty of bad decisions, to the point where I lost respect for her. Even when the truth came out about her past, I didn't feel sympathy for her as she had made too many bad decisions. Even though she was unlikable and I couldn't relate to her, it was fascinating to read about her. It is like one of those accidents that you should turn away from, but you can't divert your eyes. Tanya is one of those characters who will make you think.
- This is a page turner. I loved the suspense, and I was so curious to learn the truth about Tanya's past. If you like thrillers that you can't put down, this is a fun one to read. I definitely enjoyed the ride.
- The ending provides the answers I was seeking, and some redemption for Tanya. Personally for me, it wasn't enough to redeem her, but that is my opinion. I was pleased that there wasn't a cliffhanger, but I was disappointed that there were a few nagging questions.
And The Not So Much:
- I was left frustrated by the lack of answers. I wanted to know what happened with the investigation with Tanya's first husband? What was the deal with Blue? Why did she do what she did? Why did Ryan keep the secret all those years, and why did he decide to lie to begin with? Furthermore, I needed way more details regarding Tanya's mother and her actions, and I wanted to know why her mother chose the way she did. Did she have any regrets or final words for her daughter? Finally, why did Dominic behave the way he did?
- Blue was an exasperating character. I thought I didn't like Tanya, but she is nice in comparison to Blue. Blue is vicious and unrepentant as well as manipulative. I was curious as to why she did what she did in Tanya's home town. Was she really trying to help?
- Dominic is another irritating character. I don't even know how to describe him. He is a potential romantic interest, but he is completely unbelievable. I thought his behavior was unrealistic, and I didn't understand his motives at all.
- The other big issue I had was I was never sure how I was supposed to feel about the main character. My sympathy for her was thrown out the window by the end due to her lying, stealing, etc. She may have started out innocent, but by the end, she was not a good person, and I was left wondering about her final fate. If you don't like books with unlikable main characters, you will likely not like this one.
The Passenger was a book I had fun reading, but it left me frustrated with its loose ends and unlikable main character. It is a book thick with suspense and it has plenty of actions as well as some exciting twists. It is certainly a read that will have people talking. Pick it up if you want a page turner, but don't expect to be completely satisfied at the end.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.