The Safe Place by Anna Downes

OIP (13)

The Safe Place is a tantalizing mysterious story in which the reader, desperate to solve, willingly will exhaust themselves by staying up all night as they desperately try to answer the not so simple question, is this a safe place?

Emily Proudman wants to be an actress but is having absolutely no luck.  At least she has a job to pay her bills and an agent to send her on casting calls.  Although barely making ends meet, she still has a roof over her head.  And then in a blink of an eye it’s all gone.  She loses her job, agent and with those gone, her apartment.

Adopted at a young age, Emily has never really felt a bond with her mother.  Perhaps she never gave her a chance since her childhood prior to adoption is a bit fuzzy.  She rarely sees her parents and when she does it’s usually to ask for money.  But this time they will not have it.  Enough is enough and Emily must grow up and figure this out on her own.

Scott Denny is her very wealthy previous boss who unbeknownst to her has had her fired from the job she desperately needed.  Although married, his wife and daughter live in a secluded house in France.  He visits only once in a while.  The work rumor mill runs rampant with reasons why. His life seems mysterious.

So when Scott offers Emily a job at the house in France assisting his wife Nina with their daughter Aurelia, doing odd jobs around the house and running errands, even giving her a credit card and use of a car, she jumps at the chance to make some money.

At first the job is perfect.  Nina is loving, a bit obsessed with her daughter, but that’s natural right?  Although Aurelia has her problems, they all begin to bond.  Emily is taken by Nina’s beauty.  She realizes Aurelia has two sides, a good one and a bit of a destructive one.  But Emily had been warned that Aurelia had been very sick as a baby and figures this acting out must be part of the illness. The days easily flow into each other and Emily could not be happier in this picturesque world.

Until Emily starts to think perhaps something is not right.  Maybe what she is seeing is not real. But how can she question Nina’s passion and love for her daughter? And then she sees something she should not have and her world explodes. She begins to question everything, including why Scott wanted to hire her for this job.  Is he aware of what’s going on?

But by the time she realizes there is something not right with this perfect little family, it may be too late for Emily.  She is now trapped in paradise.  As the walls begin to close all around her will she be able to break the hold this family has on her?  Will she ever be able to leave this wonderland turned prison?

The Safe Place is a wonderful mystery with a compelling ending as all the clues and suspicions the reader has gathered come together for a jaw dropping ending.

Thank you #NetGalley #MinotaurBooks #AnnaDownes #TheSafePlace for the advanced copy.


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