Review: The Safe Place

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**4 Stars**

Emily is broke. Her dream to become a successful actress is fading as her bills are past due and piling up day after day. She has one last chance to get back on her feet and start auditioning again when she gets hired at a post investment firm as a secretary.

But then she blows it big time and gets fired. Rent is due. Her landlord is ready to give her the boot. Her roommate is on her heels to pay her for her portion of rent. To make matters worse, her adoptive parents won’t bail her out anymore. She has asked for help one too many times.

Kicked to the curb, Emily is beyond desperate. Out of the blue, she receives an invitation from Scott, the owner of the investment firm for which she worked. He asks her to meet to discuss an unusual but promising business opportunity.

With nowhere to go and nothing to her name, Emily meets Scott, who apologizes for firing her. Scott comes off as charming, attractive, and brilliant. He offers her what seems like a once in a lifetime job: move to France to assist his wife in renovating their chateaus and nannying his daughter, who, he says, is ill. Emily is enchanted by the life he promises her – a pool, the French countryside, miles of private hiking trails, her own house, delicious French wine and food, and an unspeakable amount of money to spend at her leisure. What could go wrong?

Emily immediately jumps at the chance to leave the country and start a new life. Initially, everything about her new job in France seems beyond perfect. Scott’s wife welcomes her with open arms, treating to all the delights of France and luxury unheard of.

But then Emily becomes suspicious of Scott’s wife and life in France. There’s a creepy basement that has boxes of infant and children’s clothing. Scott’s daughter is also an enigma; mute, shy, and complicated, she seems to be holding the key to the mystery of Scott’s family. And then there’s this awful smell that permeates the entire house despite the fragrant flowers and baked goods that fill the house. There are entire wings of the property that are off limits to Emily. Any time people come near the property, Scott’s wife screams at them to leave.

What is Scott’s family hiding? Emily must find out before her life is in danger.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was completely engulfed in the story from the first page to the last. The last 25% of the book, in particular, was so exciting and thrilling. I found the character of Emily relatable and appreciated how the author developed her character. The plot was a bit unbelievable, but honestly, if every thriller that was published was true we’d be in a big trouble as a society! I found the ending satisfying, though I did not want the book to end! This is definitely a book worth reading if you are into mysteries and thrillers set in Gothic mansions.

Thank you to the author, Anna Downes, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of The Safe Place!

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