A worthy entrant in the ranks of pyschological thrillers, with an ending that’s a little neat.
Bring something that belonged to that person, pay for the body’s time and you can spend an hour talking with your lost child, or partner, or best friend. Edie has been a body for years, much more successfully than most.
She is plain – a blank canvas for others – and has cut ties to a past she is trying to ignore.
But then comes Patrick, who is desperate to talk to his lost love, Sylvia. He brings a bright pink lipstick, which all wrong for Edie, but she can’t put it aside. He also brings photographs, including one that is clearly against the rules.
Slowly Edie finds herself responding to Patrick. How much of that is Sylvia, pushing into Edie’s personal life and refusing to disappear as she should; how much is Edie’s own yearning for love?
As their meetings continue, Edie starts to get whispers of something strange about Sylvia’s death, tempting her into dangerous territory.
Murphy’s debut novel is a strong entry in romantic psychological thriller territory, with lots of tension and a terrific balance between growing knowledge and the deeper mysteries.
The ending will be too neat for some, and the big reveal is maybe less satisfying than it could be, but overall this is worth the effort.
This book was published in February 2017. My review appeared in the Herald Sun’s Weekend magazine.