Powered By Blogger

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Out of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber

Out of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber
Published by MIRA ISBN 9780778386445
Trade paperback, $16.99, 400 pages

Lizzy Barber's suspense novel Out of Her Depth opens with a sentence that will entice you to keep reading- 
"Before you judge me, remember this: a girl died, and it wasn't my fault."

Rachel is teaching French and Italian at a private girls' school when a BBC News alert flashes across her phone that a man's criminal appeal is proceeding that evening. What does this have to do with the first sentence of the story? 

The story moves back in time to when Rachel was an ambitious high school student. Her Italian teacher reaches out to an old friend, a countessa who has a villa in Tuscany that she has turned into a pensione. Although she would be working as a maid, Rachel would be escaping to beautiful Florence for the summer.

The work was not easy, but when Rachel meets another maid named Diana, Rachel becomes "intoxicated with her, almost from the very moment, an intensity of feeling that perhaps blinded me to her other faults." Unlike Rachel, Diana comes from the same wealthy class as most of the villa's guests.

Rachel also falls for Sebastian, a neighbor of the Contessa's. Sebastian is charming and handsome and he seems to like Rachel as well. Diana encourages Rachel, telling Rachel that she would help her win Sebastian's affections.

But Diana is not the friend that Rachel believes her to be. As the summer moves along, Rachel finds herself doing Diana's work as well as her own, and being seduced by the lifestyle of her new friends, a  lifetyle she cannot afford.

The story moves back and forth in time, and we read on waiting to discover who was the girl who died and if it wasn't Rachel's fault, whose fault was it? Rachel seems to be unraveling in the present time, looking for answers, and perhaps absolution, for what happened in Tuscany.

I enjoyed being immersed in Florence and Tuscan countryside. You could feel the sunshine on your face, and taste the cool gelato on your tongue. The story had a Gatsby-esque touch, with our narrator trying to explain the actions of these rich people. Lizzy Barber has the reader in the palm of her hand, right up to the shocking ending. If you are a fan of thrillers like The Girl on the Train, Out of Her Depth is one for you.

Thanks to Harlequin Books for putting me on their Summer 2022 Mystery & Thriller Blog Tour.


No comments:

Post a Comment