Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Review: Accidents Happen by Louise Millar

Kate Parker has an obsession with statistics - specifically safety-related statistics.  She has built her life around following the statistics that give her and her son Jack the best chance of staying safe.  And it's no wonder she's obsessed, because she seems to have lived an incredibly unlucky life.  Her parents died in a tragic car accident on the night of her wedding.  Years later, her husband was brutally murdered in a home invasion.  Now Kate's in-laws are threatening to use her emotional instability to take custody of her son.  During this crisis, she meets a man named Jago, a probability researcher, who thinks he may be able to solve Kate's problem by giving her increasingly dangerous "projects". 

I was quite impressed with the quality of writing, particularly for a thriller.  I shouldn't have been so surprised, given it's an Atria title and I've always had great experiences with their selections.  A lot of times I find that it's hard for an author to do something new in the thriller genre, but Millar pulls it off well in this one.  I made it to the last fifty or so pages with no idea where the author was taking me, which is a major plus in any thriller.

Entertainment Value
Again, the fact that I was still guessing at the end was huge.  Another good test of a thriller is whether or not it keeps me up at night reading - and this one did.  It was the perfect vacation read for me.  

I consider this one a success, particularly for fans of the psychological thriller who want something a bit different.  It's also almost all psychological, so blood and gore are basically non-existent.  There is a fair amount of bad language, so be warned up front, in addition to all-around creepiness.  It has my summer read stamp of approval.

Thank you to Atria and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for review.


  1. I was about to buy some English books online, and found this post of yours.. Got another book to add in the list :)

  2. Interesting, the thriller I'm reading right now (The Never List by Koethi Zan) has a VERY similar premise for the protagonist (is obsessed with the statistics of various crime rates in order to keep herself safe, because she's had very bad things happen to her in the past). The rest of it is different plot-wise, but I wonder if I'd find myself constantly comparing based on this similarity.