I am indebted to Alison Davies for my advanced reader copy of You Sent Me A Letter by Lucy Dawson in return for an honest review. You Sent Me A Letter is published by Corvus, an imprint of Atlantic Books, on 3rd March 2016 and is available in e-book and paperback from Amazon UK, Amazon US, from all good bookstores and through the publisher.
At 2 o’clock in the morning of her 40th birthday Sophie wakes to find a man in her bedroom. He hands her a letter telling her she must open it at 8 PM that night at what she thinks is to be her birthday party or she will be putting her family in danger. So begins a catalogue of events that impact on many lives. Just who has sent her the letter and why?
You Sent Me A Letter opens with a dramatic scene and hurtles from there to the very last sentence. The plot snakes and coils so that it’s a real roller coaster of a read. I kept changing my mind about who exactly had sent Sophie a letter and I think I was suspicious of every character at some point, so clever is Lucy Dawson’s writing. I even suspected Sophie of sending herself the letter, wondering if she was mentally unstable and psychotic enough to be duping the reader.
I found all of the characters totally realistic which is what I think makes You Sent Me A Letter so chilling and psychologically disturbing – they all could have sent the letter and many might have had reason to do so. I thought the way character emerged out of dialogue was deftly handled, making the story all the more realistic.
One element that I felt worked incredibly well is the brevity of setting descriptions. There is a sparsity to the prose that makes it more compelling and thrilling to read. You Sent Me A Letter certainly raised my heartbeat.
It’s difficult to say more about You Sent Me A Letter without spoiling the plot, but if you like psychological thrillers, this is certainly a book to add to your book list.
I’m new to Lucy Dawson’s writing, but You Sent Me A Letter has confirmed that she’s a writer I’ll be reading again as soon as I can.