This Chick Read: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

“When I found my husband lying at the bottom of the stairs…”

Lisa Lutz engaged my imagination from the very first sentence of The Passenger.  Did Tanya kill her husband or didn’t she?  This question was only the first of many that I had as I read this book.  Tanya was the first identity we knew our heroine as, but it certainly wasn’t the last.  We journeyed countrywide as our heroine took on new identities, trying to escape something that happened in her past.  We are only given brief glimpses of that past through emails that she exchanges with a childhood friend.  The tone to those emails are passionate, self recriminating, and hateful, leaving us guessing as to what she was running from, making us hope that she will find an identity she could settle into and live a normal life.

The synopsis is directly from

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?

The pace of the book was non-stop, only slowing down at one point when she got a teaching job in a small rural town.  Because of that speed, I was impressed with the author’s character development. The other characters in the book seemed just as mysterious as Tanya/Debra/etc.  These characters were not as they appeared on the surface.  Blue, another woman on the run, Dominic, a cop who doesn’t act very law abiding.  Both characters have a huge impact on the direction our heroine takes, and the decisions she make come full circle.

As I approached the end of the book, I felt as though the heroine was trying to make up for some of the bad choices she had to make.  That she was trying to become a better person again.  I liked the direction the author was taking the reader, but I will admit that I was a little underwhelmed by the big reveal, but I was surprised.  I did really enjoy the fast pace and depth of he characters in this story.  It was an interesting journey and more thrilling than Gone Girl, or Girl on a Train, although similar in genre.  You will not be disappointed.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher Simon & Schuster through NetGalley for my honest review.


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Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved.

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