Title: Girl in the Rearview Mirror
Author: Kelsey Rae Dimberg
Published: June 25th 2019
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genres: Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
A twisty, page-turning debut thriller from Kelsey Rae Dimberg, Girl in the Rearview Mirror is a story about privilege and power, family and obligation, ambition and complicity, and the pull of the past on the present; perfect for fans of Jane Harper, Megan Abbott, Attica Locke and Laura Lippman.
Desperate to put her past in the rearview mirror, Finn Hunt leaves the Midwest for Phoenix, Arizona, where no one knows her story.
While she’s working a dead-end job, a chance meeting with Philip Martin, son of a prominent US Senator, leads Finn to a position as nanny for Amabel, his precocious four-year-old daughter. Quickly seduced into the Martins’ privileged world, Finn can almost believe she belongs there, almost forget the dark past that haunts her.
Then, in the stifling heat of a desert summer as the Senator’s re-election looms, a strange woman begins to follow Finn, claiming a connection to Philip and threatening to expose the family to scandal. As Finn tries to protect Amabel, and shield the Martins, she’s inadvertently drawn deeper and deeper into their buried secrets.
The family trusts Finn, for now, but it will only take one mistake for everything she holds dear – the Martins’ world, her new life – to fall apart . . .
Girl in the Rearview Mirror is the exhilarating debut novel from Kelsey Rae Dimberg. A book about explosive secrets, a hidden past, extortion and scandal, this is an intense novel that proved to be a perplexing read.
Girl in the Rearview Mirror is a story of family secrets, individual lies and a dogged determination to reveal the truth. A novel that firmly sits in the thriller genre, this debut from Kelsey Rae Dimberg unveils the story of Finn Hunt. Finn is a young woman who is determined to put her past behind her as she takes up a position working for a US Senator. Employed as Senator Philip Martin’s nanny to her four year old daughter, Finn soon learns that the cushy position she thinks she has landed may not be as easy as she first thought. While Finn is tormented by her own past demons, she becomes embroiled in a scandal that lies at the very heart of her employer’s family – just in time for his re-election. As Finn works hard to protect her employer and her own past from being exposed on the public floor, this young woman must work hard to protect her life from falling apart.
The opening pages of Girl in the Rearview Mirror work to hook the reader right in to this unfolding tale. A sense of paranoia and raw unease is established early on in the piece. I was intrigued enough to continue to leaf page after page of this novel. The pace is timely, and the atmosphere taut. Revolving the book around a prominent Senator and the political environment gearing up to an election was also a good choice of background.
Kesley Rae Dimberg has created a solid and contrasted cast of characters in her first novel. Finn was a perfectly likeable lead, but I did feel like she seemed on the dubious side. I don’t think I could trust her in real life. The same goes for many of the side characters that fill the pages of Girl in the Rearview Mirror. There is strong level of mistrust that circulates around them, making it hard to connect and care about their predicament. Some of the choices Finn and the supporting cast make are suspect, but this all adds to the unreliability of this narrative. Dimberg wants to test the reader at many points in this novel.
Everything culminates in a shocking and twisty conclusion that Dimberg works hard at building up, but for me I think it fell a little short. Anyhow, I am sure many fans of the thriller genre may have a more positive response to this novel.
Girl in the Rearview Mirror raises many questions about the past, secrets, power and status. It looks at the dichotomy of personal and professional lives, in the context of a high pressured political environment. A slow burn style thriller with a strong slant towards the psychological, add this one to your list if you like to devour mystery novels, with an unreliable narrator leading proceedings.
Girl in the Rearview Mirror was published on 25th June 2019 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Girl in the Rearview Mirror, Kelsey Rae Dimberg, visit here.
*Thanks extended to Pan Macmillan for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.