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Book Review: ‘Her Every Fear’ by Peter Swanson

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today, I’m going to be posting my review of Peter Swanson’s exceptional novel, ‘Her Every Fear’. I definitely didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did! I was sent an ARC of this, so thanks to Sophie from Faber & Faber for sending me a copy. So, here is my review…





Following a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncharacteristically bold decision after her cousin, Corbin Dell, suggests a temporary apartment swap – and she moves from London to Boston.

But soon after her arrival Kate makes a shocking discovery: Corbin’s next-door neighbour, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police begin asking questions about Corbin’s relationship with Audrey, and his neighbours come forward with their own suspicions, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own.

Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination playing out her every fear, Kate can barely trust herself. so how can she trust any of the strangers she’s just met?


‘Her Every Fear’ was released on 10th January 2017 by Faber & Faber, and is Peter Swanson’s third novel. His other novels are ‘The Girl With A Clock For A Heart’ (2014), which was nominated for the LA Times book award, and ‘The Kind Worth Killing’ (2015), which was a Richard and Judy pick and was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger.

‘Her Every Fear’ has received tremendous praise so far. BookPage said ‘[It] has movie adaptation written all over it’, Seattle Book Review said ‘The payoff for the reader is an excellent whodunit with a magical appeal for the mystery thriller lover’, and called it ‘A compelling tale of murder and deception that keeps the reader turning pages’. Even Clare Mackintosh proclaimed ‘I loved it! A brilliantly original premise, delivered with panache’.

‘Her Every Fear’ was easily a 5-star read for me. It had absolutely everything I look for in a murder mystery thriller! The narrative essentially is based around the murder of Audrey Marshall, who is now living next door to Kate Priddy, who has house-swapped with her cousin from London to Boston. Kate seeks to investigate exactly what happened to the girl next door…but things are not as they seem.

The narrative begins by following Kate, who is moving to Boston from London. She is house-swapping with her cousin Corbin Dell, whom she has never met before; and is rightfully very nervous about the move. Chapter One opens whilst Kate is travelling and is experiencing a panic attack, and suggests that she has a history of anxiety issues. She arrives at the apartment block and discovers that her neighbour, Audrey Marshall, is missing.

Kate is an exceptionally convincing and relatable character. She has some issues with her mental health and has experienced some trauma in her life. She attempts to be optimistic about her new move to Boston; but it soon becomes obvious that this isn’t possible. She takes art classes in Boston and loves to sketch the faces of people she meets. She attempts to integrate into the community and just wants to be liked. But as the murder unravels, she takes on the role of a detective and takes investigations into her own hands. I saw a lot of myself in Kate, and really related to her. She definitely isn’t perfect – but her flaws make her a really realistic character.

New characters are gradually introduced. Alan Cherney lives in the same apartment building, and his apartment faces Audrey Marshall’s. Alan is a kind character who is misunderstood and painted in a negative light. There’s a lot more to him than the reader may first think. Corbin Dell, the cousin who Kate has never met, is a character with a dark past and lots of secrets. But he’s a much more complex character than he first seems. Jack Ludovico is a friend of Audrey’s who begins to hang around the apartment building; but there’s another side to this seemingly innocent character.

The narrative drives forward, and more and more discoveries are made. They discover the state of the body, and new crimes come to light. We go back in time to all of the characters’ histories, and discover why they are the way they are now. All have had some negative experiences in the past, which strongly determine their characters in the present. Personally, I thought each character was equally valid and brilliant, and didn’t find myself losing interest in any of them at any point.

This is a novel with loads of twists and turns. You think you know where the story is going; but then, a shocking revelation is made and the novel goes a completely different way. I think that’s what I loved so much about it. This isn’t just your standard murder mystery. There’s so many more details and much more complexity to it than that, and it just keeps you guessing right until the remarkable end!

So, the ending! Oh wow, the ending was just exceptional. I truly didn’t know what was going to happen, and I was literally on the edge of my seat for the last 100 pages or so. I physically could not put it down, and was just dying to find out what happened! And I was definitely pleasantly surprised! I’m really happy with the direction that the novel took, and the ending was very satisfying for me. The final scene is explosive and dramatic, and I couldn’t have wished for anything more.

Overall, I thought this novel was absolutely sensational. It’s got everything I could want in a thriller: excellently-constructed characters, twists and turns, suspense and a fantastic ending! I devoured this book in just two sittings, and was completely obsessed with it. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did; and now I’m definitely going to have to check out Peter Swanson’s other books! If you love thrillers or murder books, I would highly recommend you check this one out. You will definitely not be disappointed.






Happy reading 🙂


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