Emily Proudman is down on her luck. Her acting career amounts to no more than a couple of bit-parts in commercials. Her temp job as a receptionist barely covers the rent, but then she’s fired from that, too.
Her now-former boss – enigmatic and charismatic Scott Denny – offers her the opportunity of a lifetime, working as a live-in housekeeper-slash-personal-assistant for his wife and six-year-old daughter on their secluded but luxurious French estate. Is it too good to be true?
That’s the premise of The Safe Place, the debut novel of former-actress and former-live-in-housekeeper herself Anna Downes, and the fine folks at Affirm Press were kind enough to send me a copy for review.
Obviously, the offer is too good to be true. Creepy house, creepy kid, a million miles away from anyone – The Safe Place has all the classic motifs of a gothic thriller. It was all very reminiscent of Ruth Ware’s The Turn of The Key, which I quite enjoyed.
Unfortunately, some of the psychological elements in this one just seemed a step beyond believable, and I stumbled into a couple of plot-holes (that I won’t reveal because spoilers, suffice to say they bugged me).
The Safe Place is an easy read that will keep your interest, but it unfortunately falls short of the high bar for women-centered domestic thrillers set by writers like Liane Moriarty.