Four women–friends, family, rivals–turn to online dating for companionship, only to find themselves in the crosshairs of a tech-savvy killer using an app to target his victims in this harrowing thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of See Jane Run and The Bad Daughter.
A husband’s death, a difficult divorce, a brutal break-up, dissatisfaction with a boring relationship: for various reasons, four women turn to online dating, hoping to right-swipe the way to love and happiness.
Paige and Heather are cousins, locked in a lifelong rivalry that recently culminated in Heather taking Paige’s boyfriend for herself, although now Heather isn’t quite sure she wants him. Paige’s mother, Joan, is trying to get back on her feet after the death of the love of her life two years ago. And Paige’s longtime friend, Chloe, is considering giving her unfaithful husband a taste of his own medicine.
Together, the women are navigating the choppy waters of online dating, until one of them unwittingly makes a date with a killer, starting the clock on a race to save her life.
Hi and welcome to my review of All The Wrong Places! As always, thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation and to Zaffre Books for generously sending me a review copy!
Let me start by telling you: this was not what I expected. On the basis of the blurb I thought I’d be reading a high-octane serial killer thriller. Despite the chapters from the POV of the serial killer (and boy, they sure are chilling), a high-octane serial killer thriller this is not. That’s not a bad thing though. I have to say, once I’d adjusted my expectations, I really enjoyed all the other aspects to All The Wrong Places.
Paige is going through a rough patch. She’s between jobs, and on the rebound from her latest relationship that ended when she found her boyfriend in bed with her cousin Heather. Now, in an effort to remedy the latter, she’s created a profile on a few dating apps. However, searching for Mr Right, she crosses paths with Mr Right Now, and he is very dangerous indeed…
We get to know Paige rather well. In fact, we learn a whole lot more about her and her family than we ever do about our serial killer. After her break-up, Paige has moved back in with her mum Joan, who lost her husband a few years ago, and some of the narrative focuses on Joan trying to get back out there, giving life and love another chance and what’s that like for a senior citizen. I have to say, I adore Joan! She’s easily my favourite character. Getting on in age has its challenges and she gave me quite the scare now and then. Which is always a good thing, since it shows me how involved I’ve become. Nothing worse than something bad happening to a character and the reader being indifferent to it.
Other chapters are from the POV of Heather, Paige’s cousin. A long-standing tradition of envy and rivalry exists between the two women, with Heather coveting everything Paige is and has. I’m afraid there’s a tiny bit of slut-shaming going on, which bothered me a little. Heather is an unlikeable character all on her own, there was little need to make her so black and white, and rather one-dimensional.
Yet another storyline focuses on Paige’s best friend Chloe, whose husband is a total womanizer, and despite being married, he’s on various dating apps as well.
So you see, there is a lot going on and only a small part of it is about the serial killer, although he is in the background of practically every chapter, which added its own kind of suspense really. It’s a bit of a cat and mouse game: will the mouse be able to escape with her life, or is she doomed from the start, since poor little mice so seldom escape the claws of a patient but vicious cat.
All these storylines, all these people are connected. When everything and everyone and the results of what’s been happening come together, it’s a thing of beauty. The finale truly feels like kismet and I loved the ending, which is open in a way, the conclusion is not spelled out, yet we know what happened.
At 400+ pages, All The Wrong Places is perhaps a little bit heftier than the average thriller, and I do feel it wouldn’t have hurt to cut a bit of fluff in the middle. However, it reads like a much shorter book, I flew through it and I enjoyed the journey I was taken on. If you’re in the market for a slow-burner that’s part serial killer thriller part drama, do put All The Wrong Places at the top of your list!
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour: