When the Lights Go Out – Mary Kubica
Publisher: Harlequin – Hanover Square Press (U.S. & Canada)
Release Date: September 2018
Synopsis: A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica.
Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.
Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?
Review: I’ve read all of Kubica’s books to date and this one is definitely different to the rest. It’s less thriller and more mystery. It’s a lot more subtle with very little violence or graphic moments. There’s more storytelling and it’s more character driven, and I really enjoyed the alternating timeline with Jessie and Eden.
Jessie’s insomnia was almost its own character, insidious and lying in wait just around the next corner, ready to pounce and produce hallucinations and all sorts of trouble for Jessie. I felt exhausted and stressed for her–I just wanted the poor girl to lie down and have a nap.
Eden might have actually been my favorite character in this book. She starts off as a simple character who then then turns so, so complicated. There’s this total shift in her character that was heart-wrenching to witness. My heart ached a little for her.
My biggest (and really my only) issue was the ending. I’m just not sure about that twist at the end. Looking back, I can see all of the hints and signs of what was to come, but it was just so out of left field. After finishing When the Lights Go Out a few days ago I’m still not sure how I feel about the end. Pick it up and see for yourself.
Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.