Book: The Au Pair
Author: Emma Rous
Who should read this book: Thriller fans, mystery fans, fans of a lighter thriller
So I read this one as a buddy read with my Thriller book club! (We need an official name ladies.) Of the thrillers we’ve read so far, this one was the most tame. But in a refreshing way. The back of the book actually refers to it as a suspense novel so maybe this was more of a mystery and less of a thriller?
Writing – 2/2 points. Emma Rous did a great job with the converging timelines in this one. We start in the present with Seraphine Mayes, her father has just died and her and her two brothers are sorting through his possessions. She finds a photo of her parents holding one baby dated the day she was born. The photo apparently taken by the Au Pair her older brother had at the time. The next chapter we are flashing back in time, meeting Laura the Au Pair that took the photo and she’s interviewing for the job. These two timelines slowly come together as Laura moves forward, experiencing some strange and erratic behaviour from her host family, and Seraphine looks back at the lives of her parents the day she was born. I really liked the way this one was written, especially the dialogue throughout the book. The conversations were very naturally written and the family bonds were impossible to miss.
Hook – 2/2 points. It’s odd there is only one baby in the photo Seraphine finds because she has a twin brother named Danny. Why aren’t they both in the picture? We learn that her mother jumped off a cliff and killed herself on the day that Seraphine and Danny were born and that their whole lives no one would tell them anything about that day or why their mother would have committed suicide. The hook was really good for this book. I agreed with Seraphine immediately that it was strange to see only one baby and a smiling mom in that photo. As she digs deeper into the story, it just gets more and more confusing.
Twist – 1/2 points. The ending of the book was fast-paced and well written. But here again I predicted a bunch of what happened. It’s not that the story wasn’t good, I just don’t like when I can figure it out before I’m told. That being said there were a few loose ends that when tied up made me say WTF? So overall the twist was good.
Plot – 2/2 points. This story was interesting for sure, it was suspenseful almost the whole way through and extremely confusing until the end. The converging timelines really helped keep the suspense going and kept the story moving. Definitely a good mystery.
Feel – 1/2 points: I think because I picked up this book expecting a scary thriller, I was disappointed. The writing and story were great so don’t let this point deter you from reading a great mystery. I just wasn’t in the right headspace to read this one I don’t think.
Overall, The Au Pair was a great story, well written, and very suspenseful. I would recommend this one as a light thriller, maybe a palate cleanser from all the scary thrillers.