Tuesday, February 16, 2016
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
But if she didn't kill Frank, why doesn't she stay to explain to the police that he fell down the stairs? Instead, Tanya Dubois packs a suitcase and heads out with no particular plan in mind. In this way, Lutz keeps the reader engaged, but puzzled. Feeding little "hints and allegations" (can't resist--if I see or hear the word hints, allegations just follows) along the way, Lutz allows this woman, who assumes many names in her travels, to intrigue and mystify us as she makes her flight across the country.
When she lands in Austin, with the new name Amelia Keene, she meets Blue, a bartender who sees more about Amelia Keene than anyone else notices. When things begin to go wrong and Amelia/Tanya's past catches up with her, Blue is inadvertently and drastically involved. For a while, I thought this was going to be Thelma & Louise story, but Lutz doesn't allow that to happen. Both women have pasts that seem to be closing in on them, but they work out a plan, and each proceeds in her individual journey. New names, new places, but Amelia/Tanya/Debra is never able to stay long in one place regardless of how she wishes for a rest from those who pursue her.
Hints of Amelia/Tanya/Debra's past emerge through emails from a previous life addressed to Jo. We know that even before Tanya and her marriage to the unfortunate Frank, there is something in her past that she has been running from. Plenty of twists and turns and a conclusion that I DID NOT EXPECT.
This was one of those books that kept me (figuratively) turning the pages (actually, swiping the e-reader frantically). Considering that I never plan to be on the road and off-the-grid, it may seem odd that the idea of trying to live incognito and fleeing from unknown assailants always fascinates me. On the other hand, for someone who willingly reads about versions of the zombie apocalypse, maybe not so strange.
Lisa Lutz is best known for her Spellman books about a family of private investigators. I have not read any of them, but I will. Besides The Passenger, Lutz has also written another stand alone -- How to Start a Fire, which is also now on my TBR list.
Read in Oct., 2015; blog review scheduled for Feb. 16, 2016.
NetGalley/Simon & Schuster
Mystery/Thriller. March 1, 2016. Print length: 320 pages.