I've read Hallie Ephron before and, to be honest, wasn't much of a fan. However, after reading the description for this one I decided to give her another chance. The book features an elderly woman who holds the key to a mysterious incident involving a neighbor's sudden descent into illness. Old people? Sign.me.up. I love old people almost as I love psychotic children. So a thriller that revolves around an elderly woman who may or may not be losing her senility drew me in. And I'm so glad I gave the author a second chance, because this one was good.
There are few tropes I love in thrillers as much as a potential gaslight. You're all familiar with gaslighting, right? A character is slowly losing his or her mind...or is is all a trick? I love it most when I can't tell whether or not a character is being gaslighted. And because I'm incredibly naive, I can almost never tell. This was no exception and I spent most of the book wondering whether our elderly main character was grappling with dementia or being tormented by an outside entity. I won't let you in on the surprise, but I will let you know that it provided me with just the right amount of cozy suspense.
Well, I stayed up for half the night because I HAD to know the ending, so that certainly says something about the entertainment value. Beyond the suspense, I also appreciated a thriller/mystery that doesn't play up the gore, foul language, or sex that are frequently found in the genre. I'd recommend this to readers who wouldn't normally be interested in the genre for that reason. I think it's a great book that falls outside of the cozy mystery genre but doesn't cross all the way into thriller territory. It's a cozy thriller.
I recommend it. I'm definitely glad I gave the author another try and I'll continue to look into her books in the future because I enjoyed this one.