Monday, March 7, 2016

Review: The Passenger

Summary: “Lutz develops riveting suspense by slowly revealing the events that first sent Tanya/Amelia on the run, while pouring threats on her gritty heroine’s increasingly tenuous bids at survival. Binge-worthy fare, especially for those drawn to strong female protagonists” (Booklist, starred review).

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, Lisa Lutz’s latest blistering thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past: you’ll want to buckle up for the ride!

In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless. -- Simon & Schuster

I can't believe that THE PASSENGER by Lisa Lutz is the first novel that I've read by this award-winning and best-selling author. If this book is any indication of her talent, then I have a lot of catching up to do! I was very impressed with her storytelling abilities as well as her character development.

THE PASSENGER is a thriller that begins with Tanya Dubois discovering her husband lying dead at the bottom of the stairs. Tanya tells the reader that she had nothing to do with it, but she's not exactly upset at the prospect of a world without her husband. Rather than calling the police, she decides to go on the run because of something that happened in her past. As she flees from the scene of the crime, she's already working on a new identity!

Tanya/Amelia meets Blue, a mysterious bartender who immediately senses that she is on the run. Blue offers her a place to stay and Tanya/Amelia decides to trust her. However, this new relationship might end up being more trouble than its worth!

The story follows Tanya/Amelia/Debra and so on as she travels across the country trying to hide from the police while also creating a new life for herself. As she sheds new identities without a second thought, she is forced to reconcile events from her past that have haunted her for years.

I really enjoyed THE PASSENGER. It's a well-paced thriller with a strong and smart female protagonist, and there are quite a few surprises along the way... especially the ending. I appreciated the character development of Tanya and how much her past played a role in her current adventures. It really was a very well-written thriller!

As exciting as the story was with Tanya recreating herself over and over again with new identification, hair and eye color, and drink preferences, I think I most appreciated having access to the inner workings of her mind. I thought Ms. Lutz did a fantastic job of showing the turmoil Tanya faced each time she created a new identity for herself. Of course Tanya was stressed hiding from the police (and others), but she was also really torn with the struggle to figure out her true identity and come to terms with her past. I was pleasantly surprised by how deep Tanya's character was.

Overall, THE PASSENGER was a solid thriller with a great female character. I absolutely loved Ms. Lutz's writing and I can't wait to read more of her novels!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Kim@Time2Read said...

This synopsis of a woman changing her identity to run away from her past reminds me a bit of 'One Step Too Far'. It sounds interesting. I may add it to my pile!

bermudaonion said...

A friend of mine loves her work but I've never read it either. I need to get with it because this sounds like a book I'd like.

Hillary said...

I have this book out from the library. Your review makes me want to read it all the more now.