London: On a fine avenue of grand houses, big cars, and electronic gates, lies a neglected urban wasteland.
It is nearly midnight, and very cold. Yet in this dark place of long grass and tall trees where cats hunt and foxes shriek, a girl is waiting.
When Saffyre Maddox was ten something terrible happened and she’s carried the pain of it around with her ever since. The man who she thought was going to heal her didn’t, and now she hides from him, invisible in the shadows, learning his secrets; secrets she could use to blow his safe, cosy world apart.
Owen Pick is invisible too. He’s thirty-three years old and he’s never had a girlfriend, he’s never even had a friend. Nobody sees him. Nobody cares about him.
But when Saffyre Maddox disappears from opposite his house on Valentine’s night, suddenly the whole world is looking at him. Accusing him. Holding him responsible. Because he’s just the type, isn’t he? A bit creepy?
Any of the characters in this novel could be guilty of the disappearance of Saffyre Maddox. A suspicious wife, the secretive psychologist husband, the odd neighbours across the street, and a reclusive boy who befriends a fox. She may or may not be dead, but all the fingers seem to point to Owen, a man who teaches for a living and has never had a girlfriend or even a friend.
Filled with deception, lies, trauma, revenge, mental health issues, and injustice, the author has thoroughly thought out and explored the villains in today’s society who could easily be our next door neighbours and close confidants. Rather than the obvious ones who fit the picture society has drawn of the villain, we’re instead faced with those who are afflicted with an abundance of issues that don’t stare you right in the face.
All of these characters stories intertwine with one another, and you’re conflicted throughout the book with who might be involved. One minute you think you know exactly who it is, but further down the line more dots join up for the final conclusion.
I can be a little fussy when it comes to reading crime novels, but Lisa Jewell never disappoints. Jewell explores the ins and outs of every character in depth, and brilliantly makes the reader suspect them all of involvement or committing the crime. Invisible Girl is a brilliant thriller and worthy of your time. There’s no predictable or far-fetched ending, and you’re guessing until the very end. If you love thrillers with neighbourhood shenanigans, then this is the book for you. I was invested and enjoyed this story very much. The chapters are short and snappy, enticing, and you’ll keep reading way past your bedtime. Invisible Girl is Jewell’s best novel yet.