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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Second Life


Publisher: Harper Audio

Publication Date: 6/9/2015

Format: Audio

My Rating: 3.5 Stars


"Once again, SJ Watson spins an intricate web for a heroine haunted by the past."

The sensational new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Before I Go To Sleep . .

She loves her husband.

She's obsessed by a stranger.

She's a devoted mother.

She's prepared to lose everything.

She knows what she's doing.

She's out of control.

She's innocent.

She's guilty as sin.

She's living two lives.

She might lose both . .

About the Author

Photo credit: Granham Jepson

S J Watson’s first novel, Before I Go To Sleep, is a phenomenal international success. A bestseller around the world, it won The Crime Writers’ Association Award for Best Debut Novel and The Galaxy National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year. The film of the book, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, and directed by Rowan Joffe, was released in September 2014.

SJ Watson was born in the Midlands and now lives in London. Website Twitter Goodreads

My Review

British S.J. Watson, returns after his debut Before I Go to Sleep, with SECOND LIFE, a complex psychological thriller and a tangled web of deceit. A woman who is living two lives, and may lose both. Julia, a recovering alcoholic and London photographer, a nice supportive husband, Hugh, a safe home life, and a mother of a teenage son, Connor. However, she is bored, an addictive personality, and always struggling with alcohol, which threatens her current life. She is a troubled woman, after the death of her younger sister Kate, is murdered in Paris. She wants to solve the mystery behind her sister’s death, and needs answers. After the funeral she visits Anna, Kate’s flat mate. She informs her Kate was meeting men online for sex. Could it have been one of the strange men her sister met online, who murdered her? What was her sister involved in? A complex story of a past relationship between two sisters, and the events leading up to the night of her death. Julie and Hugh adopted Kate’s son when she could not take care of him, only sixteen at the time. Julie and Hugh had not been able to have children, so a nice arrangement. However, before she died, she wanted her son returned. About the same time is when she is murdered in an alleyway in Paris. Julia becomes obsessed with finding out who killed her sister and decides to use Kate’s online ID to the internet site, and begins chatting with strange men. With her addictive self-destructive personality, she gets pulled into a dark illicit world, and begins an affair with Lukas. When the affair spirals out of control she realizes she has put her current family in harm’s way, and may lose it all. Slowly, readers learn more about Kate and Julia and the flatmate, Anna and their past. Julia has all sorts of suspicions as to the identity of the killer. Readers will not attain all the answers until the end, leaving you saying, "what happened, did I miss something?" Overall, the tale provided good exposure into the dangers of online connections with a twisted storyline, both intriguing and chilling. Julia is not a likable character, and many times found myself frustrated by her behavior, wanting to fast-forward the audio past her part, as her troubled mind is spinning out of control. The author controls the pace, starts slowly, building a gripping tale with twists and turns to keep you guessing. The audiobook was intense, and Susan Lyons maintains the psychological suspense, and does a good job with a character, not so likable. When listening to the audio, you are often unsure the person speaking, creating a little confusion, at times. I thought I had read Before I Go to Sleep; however, realized I missed it. Currently listening, and look forward to comparing the books. By the way, love, love S.J. Watson's website. A huge fan of black and the style is so chic and trendy!

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