Thursday, 8 June 2017
If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar
We follow Cassie, a young, recently married woman, keen artist and free spirit who is brought into the intensive care unit at St Catherine’s Hospital, the victim of a hit and run accident. She is cared for by Alice, a hard- working nurse on the ward. Alice also cares for Frank, who is in a coma and suffering from locked- in syndrome brought on by alcohol abuse, which means he is aware of everything going on around him but is unable to communicate with the outside world.
Frank observes everything in his very limited world and takes particular interest in Cassie, noting that although she appears to have a loving family surrounding her , that there is more to them than meets the eye. Ultimately this means that his life too is placed in danger.
Cassie’s story is told through flash-backs to the weeks and days leading up to her accident interspersed with observations in real time from Frank and the thoughts and later suspicions of Alice as she comes to realise that all is not as it seems and that secrets abound with all the characters.
There are a number of themes within this book, the first novel for this author, including betrayal, shame of the past, obsession and emotional pain. We share with each of the main characters as they struggle to make sense of the situation in which they find themselves.
It did take me a few pages to become hooked into the book. Once I started to relate to the characters however, I quickly became engrossed in trying to work out why Frank felt Cassie was in danger. If you like medical crime thrillers then this is certainly one to consider. The whodunit theme ramps up as the book progresses, there is more than one twist and turn in the story and I was left guessing right to the end.
I did enjoy the book and would certainly read more by this author should she publish again.
Reviewed by Fiona
Catalogue link: If You Knew Her