Watkins. Apr. 2023. 9:52 hrs. ISBN 9781915523143. $19.99. THRILLER
Dar’s (The Secret Arts) latest follows Sophie, an aspiring British Pakistani actor whose third husband, Tariq, was found dead in a car crash after mysteriously disappearing months earlier. In the aftermath of Tariq’s death, odd occurrences begin to snowball. Listeners are presented with a window into Sophie’s past, learning that she has been single-minded in her pursuit of an acting career. She wasn’t lucky in love until she met Tariq, and she is desperate to find out what happened to him. Could someone from her past be responsible for his death? Actor Monica Sagar narrates the story, revealing increasingly uncomfortable truths about Sophie’s past—schemes, blackmail, hurtful behavior, and unapologetic actions abound. Sagar skillfully handles the changing points of view, providing varied character voices and shifts in pacing to ramp up the tension. Unfortunately, though listeners may be intrigued by the shifting timelines and twisty reveals, they will likely guess the well-telegraphed conclusion. More absorbing is the depiction of Sophie’s Muslim community and the characters’ struggles to navigate cultural expectations.
VERDICT Although the suspenseful elements of this book fall short, Dar’s portrait of a community captivates. For fans of Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer.
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