Killing Me Softly, by Nicci French

Alice is a scientist working for a large pharmaceutical company: she's reasonably happy in her work, has a busy social life, and lives with Jake, her boyfriend who looks set to become her fiance. Then, across a busy street, her eyes lock with those of a stranger, and she finds herself at the mercy of unprecedented feelings of passion which she is unable to resist. But Adam, the mysterious stranger, may not be all he seems.

Adam is a mountaineer, and was involved in a famous rescue when an expedition went wrong, but he's very much the reluctant hero, and is not keen to discuss his past exploits. He's even less happy to answer Alice when she asks him about previous relationships, saying that anything in his life before she turned up is unimportant. And Alice learns that if she tries herself to dig around in his past, Adam can react badly: their relationship, while remaining intensely passionate, starts to develop darker elements, and Adam has the capacity to be physically violent.

I picked this book up from the library assuming it would be some kind of a murder/detective mystery, but I hadn't read the book synopsis, so was a bit surprised when it turned out to be a love story (or at least, that's sort of how it started). So it was quite an interesting experience to be reading a book and not be certain even what the genre was. As it turned out, my initial expectation wasn't too far off the mark, but it took a while to get there, and I was pleasantly disoriented for the first part of the book.

Even when Adam started to show his true colours, I wasn't really sure where the book was going, so I was able to share Alice's sense of forboding as she uncovered more about Adam's background. There were some sections where you're not sure if she's going to be caught out or not, and these were satisfyingly tense - will Alice manage to put the letters away before Adam gets up the stairs etc..

So a pretty entertaining read - nothing fantastic, but worthwhile, and would look for others by this author

Completed : 27-May-2008 (audiobook)

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