A mildly disturbing, somewhat fluffy thriller…
Take Me In by Sabine Durrant
First of all, I have to note, I think the author has a thing for Greece. I haven’t actually realised until after I finished Take Me In that the same author also wrote Let Me Lie, a thriller I read last year and found it also quite meh. In both of these stories the characters go to Greece and then shit happens.
Take Me In is one of those thrillers I would put in the fluffy category, purely because most of the suspense stems from the protagonist’s own shady and questionable actions, and the tension intensifies around scenarios they play and active role in the creation of drama. So basically, if you go out of your way to make your life more difficult and stressful than it should be, then don’t be surprised if you feel a bit on the edge by the end of the day.
A few things that could possibly make one’s life more painful than necessary are…
- Sneaking around behind other people’s back
- Hanging out with people you don’t particularly like, or find them outright annoying
- Voluntarily engaging in dodgy shit at work
- Not paying attention to your spouse and treating them almost as a non-person
- Dismissing other people’s feelings
- Ignoring your child
- Not setting boundaries
- Generally accusing everyone of every awful thing you can think of
The story opens with Marcus and Tess going on holiday to Greece. Upon arrival to the beach Tess leaves Marcus and their little kid alone for about five minutes. It seems like a very short time, but for Marcus it’s plenty, so he proceeds to promptly fall asleep while the child goes on to be swept away into the see and drown. Brutal. Personally I find being on the beach relaxing under most circumstances, but Marcus is on a whole new level here. Thankfully Dave is around, and thanks to his quick intervention the child is saved. Everyone’s happy. Sort of. The problem seems to be that Dave now wants to be friends. Or so Tess and Marcus think, because they keep seeing the dude around for the rest of their holiday.
Back in the UK shit starts going weird. Tess is being followed, Marcus thinks she’s going nuts. If you ask me, Marcus is an ignorant asshole. At one time Tess tells him she went to the grocery store with their child and while she turned away for a minute to pick something up, someone gave a chocolate to the kid. I’m not a parent of anyone, but that sort of crap would piss me off as well for sure. Whereas Marcus dismisses this with a wave of hand. Dude, you do realise there could have been anything in that chocolate, other than a shitload of calories, like, you know, poison?
Then Dave shows up at their house, totally uninvited, and basically crashes a party, both Marcus and Tess freak out a little bit. After they tell the story of Dave saving their kid, all their friends ooohs and aaaahs, and calls the couple assholes for feeling invaded by the unexpected visit of said saviour. Some friends, eh? I might be an asshole myself too, but I don’t take kindly for unannounced visitors, especially if they are not even my friends. I guess Dave saving their child blurs the lines a bit. Dave tries to explain this with some oriental philosophy which says he’s now responsible for them for the rest of their lives. That’s nice, but we are in England, love, so calm down.
Underneath all that stalking and unpleasant situations there’s also the problem of a crumbling marriage. I enjoyed those moments way more than the suspense created by Dave’s random and alarmingly frequent appearances to be honest.
That said, the story remained really tense until the very end, so I can’t complain.
All in all, this is not a bad story, but if you are looking for an actual thriller with a killer twist or heart pounding suspense, I wouldn’t necessarily pick this for you.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, but the opinions are my own.