Owen Pick's life is spiralling toward disaster when he is accused of sexual misconduct at the school he works at. Saffyre Maddox similarly feels like her life is falling apart after being unloaded by her psychiatrist, Roan Fours, who happens to live opposite Owen. When Saffyre disappears Owen is the last to see her alive and he needs to find out the truth to save his own skin...
Jewell is a staple name in the world of psychological thrillers but this is the first one I've picked up, although, I have about three on my TBR pile by her as well! I picked this one up specifically since it was a brand new release and available in my library the first time I went back after COVID closure!
I wasn't immediately sold on the characters in this novel, it is a POV story so we switch between narratives but for about 40% of the book, I wasn't connecting with any of them, their stories weren't connecting clearly and I felt like I was reading about three or four at once. However, toward the middle when certain pennies started to drop and the plot thickened I began to get invested and had so many thoughts about how things had happened and why. Jewell was falling a little flat, to begin with, but, gradually her short chapters and tense writing kept me interested right to the end, which was very unexpected.
Parts of the story were a little lost on me (beware, spoilers ahead) and I couldn't quite grasp the background that would make certain characters entertain the idea of framing Owen for Saffyre's abduction. Alicia was out to get Roan for refusing to leave his wife so why did she agree to frame Owen when the heat was on him? I'm not sure, I think I'd have to re-read to fully understand the complexities but first time round I was just purely confused. I was also a bit annoyed that Jewell copped out of a good plot development by bringing in an "outsider" to be the culprit of the assaults.
Whilst the narrative was strong and eventually, I grew to enjoy the characters and the plot, everything seemed a little too coincidental for a thriller. Saffyre's redemption and growth was something I loved about the story, the narrative surrounding her mental health and recovery was well addressed without pushing it upon the reader.