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After his huge success with debut novel Before I Go To Sleep, which was adapted into a movie starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, UK author SK Watson follows up with Second Life another slick read about a woman in crisis who isn’t sure who to trust.
Julia Plummer was once a wild young thing but is now leading a vanilla life with her surgeon husband and Connor, the son of her wayward sister Kate, who they have been raising as their own. When Kate is murdered in an alleyway in Paris, Julia begins to learn more about who she really was and, in a bid to track her killer, enters her world, a louche one of virtual sex and casual encounters. Inevitably her relationship with a man she meets online progresses to something else. And inevitably things start spiralling out of her control. Too late Julia discovers she’s risked more than she ever imagined.
SJ Watson saves his plot from predictability but only right at the end, with a twist I didn’t see coming. This is a multi-layered thriller, suspenseful and filmic with a foray into Fifty Shades Of Grey-style sex. For me it went on a tad too long and, while I thought the finish brave, some will feel cheated by it I’m sure.