Book Review: Second Life by S J Watson

Second life

Earlier in the year I read ‘Before I Go To Sleep‘ by S J Watson. I liked it – but it had been hyped by friends before I read it – and it wasn’t as amazing as I’d expected. I went into this, SJ Watson’s next book, without any preconceived ideas apart from this fairly vague Amazon blurb:

“She loves her husband. She’s obsessed by a stranger.
She’s a devoted mother. She’s prepared to lose everything.
She knows what she’s doing. She’s out of control.
She’s innocent. She’s guilty as sin.
She’s living two lives. She might lose both . . .”

Again SJ Watson is writing as a woman (he’s a bloke) – this time as Julia.  She obviously has her historic demons (it is revealed fairly early on that she’s an alcoholic – and I felt these parts were described incredibly well, it even made me go properly on the wagon for a bit!!) The story is based about the fact that her sister has been murdered in Paris – and Julia’s attempt to uncover what has happened.

I can’t really say much more without giving away huge chunks of the plot – it twists and turns brilliantly with lots of things interlinking.  Sometimes it is a bit far fetched – but not so much it makes it totally unbelievable.  The use of social media / the internet / apps makes it seem very up to date in setting – and all of this makes some of the coincidences less coincidental.

I have to say there were times when I was shouting at Julia to tell someone else the truth – but to actually be in that situation must be so difficult, and reasonable behaviour may well go out the window.

As with Before I Go To Sleep it picks up pace towards the end and gets more and more exciting – but still the ending is a total shock.  I can’t say any more than that!!

I really enjoyed it – much more than Before I Go To Sleep – and would definitely recommend it.

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