Book Reviews and Recommendations: ''You Belong To Me'' by Samantha Hayes
As I have said before in previous posts, I. Love. Books. I love the feeling of diving into a completely new world where I am blind to the outcome and am always kept guessing by a talented and passionate author and sharing books I love with others brings me great pleasure. My most recent read that I burned through within a couple of days (no change there then) was You Belong To Me by Samantha Hayes. This is the first book I read from this author and though it is the 3rd book in the DCI Lorraine Fisher series, it doesn't require any background knowledge of previous books in order to read this one and have the intended effect.
Warning: Please not this post may contain slight spoilers so please read with caution.
As I mentioned above,''You Belong To Me'' is part three of Samantha Hayes' DCI Lorraine Fisher series and is a psychological thriller centering around former high school art teacher Isabel Moore, who attempts to hide from her traumatic past in England by running away to India where she finds work in a small hotel in Chandni Chowk. Things are starting to look up for Isabel as she finds a sense of normality and belonging in this foreign place but too quickly her world comes crashing down around her as she receives a hand delivered letter that changes her already fragmented life. Her parents have been tragically killed in a car accident and it's this news that sees her having to return to England, back to her past and most frighteningly back to the reason the left for India in the first place.
In the midst of Isabels despair, DCI Lorraine Fisher is investigating the murders of two young women who both complained of being stalked prior to being violently murdered and discarded in their local area. The rest of her team are eager to close the case and suggest that it's all just coincidence but Lorraine remains adamant that there must be a connection between the two girls who appear to be eerily similar. Like a dog with a bone, Lorraine won't give up on finding the killer of these young women and it's in this obsession that she finds herself on leave from work though that just encourages her to be more secretive when continuing with her investigation.
We soon learn of the horrors Isabel has been running from as her mind is encompassed by thoughts of the man she has been hiding from. Felix Darwin, a wealthy, charismatic pilot who lives to shower his girlfriend with love and gifts, or so he led everyone around her including herself to believe. In reality, Felix is a manipulative and frightening dangerous man with a lot of money at his disposal, who will stop at nothing to have Isabel back in his life.
The psychological thriller genre is highly competitive but Samantha Hayes creates a suspense that pulls the reader deeper and deeper into the story. Her use of short chapters and consistent switching of perceptions creates a high level of anticipation that doesn't allow for much of a break between reading sessions. It's this, combined with the broken up narrative presented in an anachronic way that cleverly depicts the fragile inside mind of Isabel which is paralleled by the mental struggles of DCI Lorraine Fisher that makes this novel completely addictive.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves psychological thrillers that offer a deeper and more complex nature than some others on offer. The twists and turns this plot encounters are truly chilling and unforgettable. This novel will have you questioning the motives of each and every character we are introduced to throughout the book and the unsettling feeling of what may be about to occur stays until the very last page.
I hope that this article encourages you to pick up your own copy of You Belong To Me or to check out other titles by Samantha Hayes. If you have read this book in the past feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below, let me know what you loved or didn't love about this novel.