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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

Possession, Katie Lowe: A Review

With a captivating cover and enticing blurb, I was thrilled to be approved for this request. I haven't had a true psychological thriller in a while, and I quickly dove in.

Ten years after the murder of her husband Graham, Hannah is trying to move on with her life. She has a beautiful daughter, Evie. A good job. A best friend who supports her. A loving boyfriend-maybe-fiance. But a famous podcast is airing an episode based on Graham's murder, focusing on the premise that a man was wrongly convicted--that the real perpetrator was Hannah. Piece by piece, they pick apart Graham's case, casting doubt on Hannah and dredging up the ghosts of her past. I really enjoyed this book. For a well-done psychological thriller, there needs to be doubt. Suspicion. Twists. Lowe accomplishes all of these handily, with room to spare. Hannah is the epitome of unreliable narrator. You'll question her sanity, her account of events, her motivations in the present. You'll scrutinize her movements and the lies she tells. You'll also question every person she comes into contact with, and I think that's what worked best here. There's a stellar lineup of suspects, even in the peripheral sphere, and Lowe does an excellent job of keeping you guessing until the very last page. In terms of pacing, the podcast episodes helped keep the story fast-paced and well-timed. I enjoyed the constant flip from flashback, to present, to podcast. Lowe's writing is easy and readable, and for the most part, her voices are great, particularly in the quiet moments when she's talking to Dan and Evie. The sarcasm and wit are relatable and fun, giving levity to an (at-times) heavy plot. And speaking of plot, there is *a lot* going on. From Hannah's job to the murder itself, we encounter a plethora of issues: mental health, domestic abuse, gender roles and power imbalance, believability, murder, complicated relationships, past mistakes, family drama, friendship transitions, podcasts and guilt--and at the core, you have Hannah and the inner workings of her mind. Because of this, it was somewhat easy to confuse story lines. There are a lot of names and strands to manage, and I had to remind myself who was who more than once. Overall, though, Possession is a twisty, haunting psychological thriller that will make you second-guess every opinion from beginning to end. I'd recommend for fans of psych thrills with unreliable narrators, strong female leads, fans of Gillian Flynn and Shari Lapena, and anyone who loves a good domestic suspense. Big thanks to St. Martin's and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.


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