You Belong To Me – Samantha Hayes

Title – You Belong To Me

Author – Samantha Hayes

Published – 2015

Genre – Crime / Psychological thriller

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know that I can be extremely demanding when it comes to reading psychological thrillers. They have to be tense – ‘I don’t really want to know what happens next’ tense. They have to be credible – people (usually women) scared of things which are all in the mind are a let down. Finally they have to provide an explanation for what happens. And I have to say that You Belong To Me meets all my criteria!

I’m faced with a difficult task in reviewing this book because the less you know when you start it the better. And as I’m so behind on my reviews that’s perhaps no bad thing! The story features Isabel who has fled to India following something terrible that happened back home in Birmingham. No sooner has she begun to feel able to enjoy her time in India than a stranger arrives bearing news that throws her life into turmoil. She feels compelled to return to the UK but having lost everything when she left she is particularly vulnerable.

The book follows not one but two women spiralling out of control and the second is DI Lorraine Fisher. Haunted by the images of a woman she believes she let down she’s putting herself under enormous pressure, not sleeping, not eating and taking copious amounts of painkillers. Her obsession with the death of a young woman affects her judgement and she is forced off a possibly connected investigation. Behaving recklessly and jumping at shadows she can’t let the case go.

There’s a line when Lorraine says ‘I’ve lost sight of the real me’ and this could apply equally to both women. Whilst they do have similarities, Hayes manages to give them quite different voices and they both have likeable qualities alongside some dangerous flaws.

The use of first person, present tense for all the characters brings a real immediacy to the writing which certainly helps with the tension. I found the first quarter of the book to be really tense, proper heart in your mouth stuff. On the face of it the story is a mix of murder investigation and stalking but the plot is intricately woven, moving along at a fair pace but interspersed with the backstory that fills in some of the blanks. Here Hayes is masterful at teasing the reader!

If I have a yardstick by which I measure psychological thrillers it’s Into The Darkest Corner and this stacks up very well against it. A tense and disturbing read.

I read a NetGalley of this book.



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