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The Safe Place - Book Review

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by Svetlana Tishchenko (subscribe)
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Published July 2nd 2020
Do you remember the old fairy tale of Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen? Do you remember a little nice lady and her magic garden from that tale? When it looks too good, it usually is…

Hachette Australia
The Safe Place cover



Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs's debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.

Welcome to paradise…will you ever be able to leave? (Porchlight Books)




When Emily life goes to sh*%, she has nothing to lose. Absolutely nothing. Being a Devil's Advocate (and mum to a grown up daughter) I could see what Emily does wrong and points out her failures and ways how she could have saved herself some grief. But everyone should have their own story.

Emily takes her boss up on an offer noone in her situation could refuse. He offers her an escape. He offers her a pause. He offers her the world for close to nothing.

When Emily sees the grounds of the estate she is to work at, she is mesmerised. However, the author, while painting a picture of paradise, leaves some shadows and some sticks around to get the reader's danger radar on. She does it so amazingly, you can hardly notice. But, remember the Snow Queen fairytale.

While settling in quite nicely, Emily begins to pick up on signs of disquiet very quickly. On one hand, she opens up to her employer, the mistress of the estate. On the other, she is wondering why Wi-Fi and phone do not work.

Bit by bit Emily is getting on. And when all pieces of the puzzle drop in place, she tries to do what she does best – run away from problems. But she can't. She decides to act, to grow up and to face her demons and those around her.

The horror of the story is not in gore and ugly details. It is in the beauty and luxury, endless money reserves and satisfying every whim. But the luxury is covered in sticky dust. And money seem to buy useless things. Moreover, the power that money give is used for evil.

I loved this book. I was shocked by the story. It was so beautifuly horrific and horribly amazing. The characters were drawn with scary precision and insight. There was noone to like, to identify with. They all had their flaws and rottenness. They all had their secrets and forgotten memories. They all needed each other like a sore needs a surgical knife.

This book was unputdownable and was read in one sitting.
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Why? The Safe Place by Anna Downes
When: Published 30 June 2020. Available in all bookstores
Cost: Paperback $32.99
Your Comment
sounds intriguing...
by May Cross (score: 3|7122) 79 days ago
I might check this one out. Thanks for the recommendation.
by Jennifer Muirhead (score: 3|1190) 79 days ago
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