Friday, January 22, 2016

The Winter Girl by Matt Marinovich
It's wintertime in the Hamptons, where Scott and his wife, Elise, have come to be with her terminally ill father, Victor, to await the inevitable. As weeks turn to months, their daily routine—Elise at the hospital with her father, Scott pretending to work and drinking Victor's booze—only highlights their growing resentment and dissatisfaction with the usual litany of unhappy marriages: work, love, passion, each other. But then Scott notices something simple, even innocuous. Every night at precisely eleven, the lights in the neighbor's bedroom turn off. It's clearly a timer . . .but in the dead of winter with no one else around, there's something about that light he can't let go of. So one day while Elise is at the hospital, he breaks in. And he feels a jolt of excitement he hasn't felt in a long time. Soon, it's not hard to enlist his wife as a partner in crime and see if they can't restart the passion.
Their one simple transgression quickly sends husband and wife down a deliriously wicked spiral of bad decisions, infidelities, escalating violence, and absolutely shocking revelations.
Matt Marinovich makes a strong statement with this novel. The Winter Girl is the psychological thriller done to absolute perfection (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Elise and Matt have gone to the Hamptons to sit with Elise’s terminally ill dad, Victor.  While Scott stays back at his father-in-laws house, he notices strange things going on in the house next door.  With nothing but time to kill, he decides to go check it out.  What he finds starts a whole downward spiral for everyone involved.

There is no way to sugar coat that the characters in this story are pretty screwed up.  Matt on his own probably not so much, but because he follows his wife’s lead, he ends up doing some pretty twisted thing.  Elise?  Elise is one hot mess.  Initially, she hides it pretty well, but by the end of the story, we’ve met the real Elise and it’s not pretty.  Don’t even get me started on Victor!

This story starts out slow, but as each secret is reveled, the suspense really builds.  I’ll admit that the characters did some pretty bizarre things that I often found unbelievable.  But then I just tell myself - hey, it’s a book, just go with it!  There were plenty of twists that kept me reading and the author saved the biggest one for the end.

I’d like to read more from this author.

Thanks to Doubleday, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

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