Note: This book is also known as Don’t Look Back. For some reason when I put the IBSN number into goodreads it came up as I’d Know You Anywhere (which was the name I had known the book by before I bought it) even though in my Kindle it’s called Don’t Look Back.
Synopsis (from Amazon)
Eliza Benedict’s past returns to haunt her when the serial killer she escaped from as a young girl walks back into her life. The new nail-shredding novel from New York Times bestseller, Laura Lippman.25 years ago, he stole her innocence. Now he wants to get in touch.Eliza Benedict cherishes her quiet existence with her successful husband and children in the leafy suburbs of suburban Washington. But her tranquillity is shattered when she receives a letter from the last person she ever expects – or wants – to hear from: Walter Bowman.In the summer of 1985 when she was fifteen-years-old, Eliza was kidnapped by serial killer Walter Bowman, who targeted young girls like Eliza in a sexually motivated killing spree. Now facing lethal injection on death row, Walter is keen to make contact with Eliza, seemingly motivated by a desire to atone for his sins before he finally meets his maker.Carefully, with some reluctance, she lets Walter enter her life, first by letter, then in person. Walter is keen to convince Eliza that he has changed but it becomes clear that Walter has more of an agenda than he first revealed. Cunning and manipulative, Walter is never more dangerous than when he can’t get what he wants, and he wants something very badly. Disturbingly, he seems to have an ally working in the outside, one who seems to know everything about Eliza’s life – including where she lives.As Walter once again manages to exert his malign influence, Eliza must draw on all of her reserves of wisdom and strength as the battle of predator and prey once more plays out and she must face the past head on if she is to survive.A taut and mesmerizing novel by the highly-acclaimed author of Life Sentences and Every Secret Thing.
Note on review: For clarity I will refer to grown up Elizabeth as Eliza and young Elizabeth as Elizabeth.
Ok so my vision of this book may be a little skewed by the fact that novels having their names changed is one of my pet peeves, I really don’t understand why thy do it, it just confuses everyone. I think I am at risk of going on a rant but I shall hold back and maybe do a musings post on it at some point in the not to distant future.
As for the book itself. It was ok. As a crime novel it didn’t do great. There was no real mystery, especially as we saw the criminal committing most of his crimes. As a thriller I can’t say it was that great either. I was intrigued as to what Walter was trying to get from Eliza, but didn’t really expect anything very dramatic. The only real mystery I found in it was [highlight for spoiler]not knowing if Walter had actually raped his victims or not, and to be perfectly honest I didn’t really care, or at least I didn’t care enough to give it any real thought.
When it came to the characters I didn’t like Eliza. She just seemed a bit pathetic to be honest. She talked about being worried for her kids but a lot of her actions don’t reflect that and seem to have been put in just for the author’s convenience. I preferred Elizabeth I think, she seemed more genuine, but maybe I only think that because that was the part of the story which most interested me. Walter interested me more, possibly that’s just the psychologist in me talking but I felt in a way we got to know him best, and in a way could understand him more.