Whew! – Anna Downes took me on a ride with this one. The Safe Place was not at all what I was expecting, and I thoroughly enjoyed this story and how much it kept me guessing.
Emily Proudman lost her temp job at Proem Partners, her apartment, and her acting agent all in one day. Distracted and sobbing after leaving the meeting with her agent, she almost gets hit by a bus and is rescued none other than Scott Denny, the CEO of Proem Partners. During this encounter, Scott learns of Emily being fired from Proem and offers her another employment opportunity to work as a personal assistant for him and his family at their estate in France. Despite feeling hesitant about this offer that feels way too good to be true, Emily is desperate for an opportunity to start fresh and agrees to Scott’s offer. Life at the estate feels like heaven, and Emily has never been happier- she’s getting along well with his beautiful wife Nina and eccentric daughter Aurelia, and is beginning to feel like a French local. However, some things really are too good to be true and Emily soon begins to realize that things aren’t as they seem and that the Denny family is hiding a huge secret- one that could get Emily killed if she doesn’t go along with it…
I enjoyed the slow, brilliant burn with this book. Until I was about 75% into the story, I truly had no idea where the story line was going and the mystery and character development throughout the book kept me on the edge of my seat.
The story was written primarily from the POV’s of Emily and Scott, but Nina’s POV made random appearances during Emily’s and Scott’s respective chapters. Anna Downes did a great job with the character development of Emily Proudman. I really enjoyed getting to know her character and see her grow and mature by the end of the book. Scott and Nina’s characters were very intriguing and mysterious, and while I enjoyed being able to get inside Scott’s head during his chapters, I feel that we could’ve gotten a little more out of their characters. Personally, I would’ve loved if the book included chapters that were primarily written in Nina’s POV, as I feel like there is so much history to uncover about who Nina is and what she has suffered from. Without giving anything away, both Nina’s and Scott’s characters left me with a lot of questions at the end of the story based on things that occurred throughout the book that I would’ve loved to get answers for. That being said, the ending of the story was still very satisfying and I was so proud of Emily and her strength.
If you’re looking for a good vacation thriller, I definitely recommend checking out The Safe Place, releasing on July 14th 💛 thank you so much NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this gifted eARC in exchange for my honest review!
BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Safe Place by Anna Downes is best paired with White by Downeast Cider House. This delicious take on an *almost* classic unfiltered Belgian style is brewed with orange peel, lemon peel, and cracked coriander 🍻