I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Woman on the Pier Published by One More Chapter on November 11, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Domestic, Suspense, Psychological, Crime, Family Life, Marriage & Divorce, General, Mystery & Detective
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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‘As much a thriller as a chilling exploration of grief, The Woman on the Pier is one of B P Walter’s finest—and most shocking—novels yet’ A. J. Gnuse, author of Girl in the Walls
Two strangers meet on the pier Only one walks away...
Screenwriter Caroline Byrne is desperate to know why her daughter Jessica died, murdered in Stratford when she was supposed to be at a friend’s in Somerset.
When Caroline discovers the messages Jessica had been sending a boy named Michael, she realises it’s because of him. Because he failed to meet her that day.
He’s the reason why her daughter is dead.
And so she makes a choice. He’s the one who’s going to pay.
That is her promise. Her price.
Set between Essex, Kent, and Australia, The Woman on the Pier is a dark suspense thriller brimming with secrets and lies seeping across three generations – a must-read for fans of Lucy Foley and Rosamund Lupton.
‘An unflinching, visceral and eloquently written dissection of a mother’s grief and her journey to get what she perceives as justice’ R. J. Parker, author of The Good Neighbour
The Woman on the Pier…going, to be honest here, I felt like the title was the biggest spoiler. It’s not until you finish the book just how big a spoiler you have been dealt. The story dealt with difficult content and if you are triggered by child death and terrorist attacks, I would advise you to stay clear of this one. A mother and father grieving for their teenage daughter’s lost life and potential, Jessica. A marriage crumbling from the very seams. Secrets that could destroy everything. Jessica planned to visit her friend in Somerset so why on earth was she killed in a terrorist attack at Stratford train station?
I really enjoyed B.P. Walter’s, The Dinner Guest but I just felt The Woman on the Pier lacked something. I didn’t feel there was a big mystery as to why Jessica was in London on that fateful day. The prologue gave us the biggest insight into why she would be there, so I wasn’t shocked to discover she was killed. The story is split into the narratives of The Mother and The Boy. It’s a story that is purely about a mother’s grief and the lengths she will go to understand why her daughter was killed.
The Woman on the Pier is earth-shatteringly destructive in its portrayal of a life taken too soon. It rips a hole through her parent’s marriage and lives. Caroline and Alec haven’t gotten along for a long time, but they kept each other secrets and lived a life of hatred and one-upmanship. Caroline was resented for her successful career in screenwriting and Alec liked to prove her to be the helicopter parent.
Caroline can’t let sleeping dogs lie. Her daughter’s life has destroyed her. Jessica’s phone was retrieved after the attack, and she decides to go through her messages. That’s when she discovers THE BOY. The boy that she had decided to meet up with, the boy that stood her up. The boy that inadvertently killed her. Caroline is incandescent with rage. How could this boy stand her daughter up and get her murdered? She presents this information to Alec who suggests that she is looking for any reason, even to the point that he thinks that if it was a man she would be satisfied.
She finds out his address which is in Southend and decides that she will make him pay. She will confront him and make him see the pain and suffering that he has caused, by any means necessary. That was the plan anyway, but nothing is as it seems. It was a good story and enjoyed the majority of it, however, it take me a while to warm up to it, and felt the title was hugely misleading, considering it took place in one chapter.
The Woman on the Pier was a heart wrenching exploration of just how child death can have reverberating consequences on multiples lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
B.P. Walter is the author of A Version of the Truth (published in the US as The Couple’s Secret) and Hold Your Breath. He was born and raised in Essex and after spending his childhood and teenage years reading compulsively, he worked in bookshops then went to the University of Southampton to study Film and English followed by an MA in Film & Cultural Management.
He is an alumni of the Faber Academy and currently works in social media coordination for the head office of Waterstones. He lives in Central London.