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Second Life Book Review

Updated on June 23, 2018

About the book

Author: S J Watson

Publisher: Black Swan

She's living two lives. She might lose both.

The storyline

Julie seems to have the perfect life. She lives with her husband Hugh, who is a surgeon, and son Connor, who she adopted from her sister Kate. But when her sister is brutally murdered in Paris, this leaves her distraught, understandably. But when it seems the French police come to a standstill in their investigations, Julia decides to do some digging herself. There is animosity between Julia and Kate though, as Kate phones her up one night accusing her of stealing her son. When, in fact, Kate had a history of being unstable and not being able to cope, which is why Julia and Hugh took on the care of Connor. So right from the start of the book you can tell things are going to be difficult for Julia.

Julia travels to Paris and goes to the flat she shared with Anna. Anna gives Julia a box of Kate's things. And in this box she finds login details to a dating website. With the intent of finding out information on Kate's online life, she logs into website using her sisters login details. But she then decides to create her own profile and gets talking to Lukas. In Julia's eyes, she is merely trying to find out information about Kate. But things start taking a turn when she starts talking to Lukas, and they begin flirting online. They eventually meet in real life and from then on in, she is leading 2 lives. She comes very close to losing everything around her because of her own doing.

As she begins her affair with Lukas, the real reason behind why she went on the dating website seems to be put on the back burner. She finds herself attracted to Lukas, but at the same time, comes dangerously close to losing everything. Both of them tell lies to each other and this inevitably ends up creating problems. Lukas isn't all what he says he is. And with everything at risk, it seems that Julia has made a very big mistake. Julia is also a recovering alcoholic, so all this added stress isn't helping her, and there are 1 or 2 times in the book when she slips.


My Thoughts

I haven't read S J Watson's first book, Before I Go To Sleep. So I had no idea what sort of book this would be, or what he is like as an author. The book I found gripping and unable to put down. What was interesting about this book is that fact that you think you have got to know someone, but they turn out to be completely different. It wasn't until the very end of the book that you realise just who people are.

Julie, the main character in the book, wants to find out who killed her sister. But by doing this she ends up in a series of twisted events with Lukas and Anna. Both of them tell lies to each other, yet carry on with the sordid affair. And things become dangerous as things get out of control on her part. Lukas isn't who he says he is and nor is Anna. Reading about Anna was really the most interesting part of the book as you see what kind of person she really is. I thought Watson's writing style is excellent and how the characters deceive you into thinking they're someone they're not. It's not till towards the end of the book you realise what exactly is going on.

This psychological thriller I found to be readable and enjoyable. The only disappointment was the ending, I think that could have had a different ending as I thought the story was left unfinished. That said, the book is well written with good, strong characters in it. There is certainly a lot of drama and tension in the book. But I'll take a point off for the ending as, like I say, I don't feel I know exactly what happened. That being said, I thought the story itself was good and exciting to read. I couldn't put the book down once I'd started it.

© 2018 Louise Powles


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