Book Review: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

Posted March 1, 2016 by @Angelized_1st in Books, COYER Going Back to Basics, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Passenger by Lisa LutzThe Passenger by Lisa Lutz
Published by Simon & Schuster on March 1st 2016
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological, Suspense, Contemporary Women
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
ISBN: 9781451686630
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, Lisa Lutz’s latest blistering thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past: you’ll want to buckle up for the ride!

In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.

Lisa Lutz’s The Passenger is a twisty, suspenseful, crime story told from the protagonist’s point of view. Tanya Dubois is running from the police. Accused of murdering her husband, instead of explaining what happened Tanya took off because she’s not what she seems. Tanya has a secret. Uncovering Tanya’s secret was pretty fun, as the mystery unfolded like a piece of origami. Everytime I unwrapped one layer, things went off in a different direction than I would expect.

One of the aspects of the story that made it fun to read was knowing how unreliable Tanya was as a narrator. In fact, the book kind of reminded me of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, but less sinister. Along the way Tanya meets a bartender named Blue who has secrets of her own. Once these two ladies were side by side, it was easy to compare their deviousness. Blue is a piece of work. She seems like a good person on the surface, but she winds up being even more complex than Tanya.

Figuring out who these two women really are is at the heart of the mystery. The novel is told in various periods of time. The main story is told from Tanya’s perspective in the present day, but readers also get a glimpse of the past via a series of emails. How these emails are connected to Tanya is the key to unlocking the mystery surrounding who Tanya is, and why she’s really running. In a way, the emails threw me, and I found them to be a bit disconcerting. There are so many mysteries in this novel, that it almost feels as if there is one too many. I don’t know if this confusion was created on purpose, or if t’s just me.

Overall I enjoyed this story. I never felt it was hard to put down, but the mystery was woven well enough that it kept my interest. I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoyed Gone Girl, Catcher in the Rye, and other novels with unreliable narrators. The book will keep you on your toes, and while it wasn’t completely unpredictable, it was still fun to try to solve the mystery.

About Lisa Lutz

Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of the six books in the Spellman series, How to Start a Fire, Heads you Lose (with David Hayward), and the children’s book, How to Negotiate Everything (illustrated by Jaime Temairik). Her latest book, The Passenger, a psychological thriller, will be published March 2016 by Simon and Schuster. Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor’s degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. Lisa lives in the Hudson Valley, NY.


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