Cover Image: The Safe Place

The Safe Place

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Member Reviews

This was a great debut novel. With debut thrillers, it can go either way, so I'm happy it went this way. This book keeps you reading and not wanting to put it down. I know I'm not the only one who stayed up way past her bedtime reading. Every time I thought I had something figured out, Downes hit us with another plot twist. It was a puzzle I just had to solve.
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I really enjoyed The Safe Place by Anna Downes. It was a seductive and suspenseful read that had me hooked. The writing kept me on edge and I did not anticipate the twist. And did mention how beautiful the cover is?
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I had trouble with this one.  The premise sounded good, but I couldn't really get past how naive Emily was and how predictable the story became.
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Feeling kind of eh about this one.  It had promise, but unfortunately suffered from a few shortcomings:

1. Slow build.  I lost interest at 42%, but picked it back up during a rainy afternoon - mostly because I didn't have wifi and this was already loaded, oops.  The last 30ish% was where things started getting interesting for me.

2. A mostly predictable plot

3. An ending that offered some resolution but felt unfinished and left unanswered questions.
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The Safe Place by Anna Downes had deep character development for Emily but once again I was reading a suspense-domestic thriller that had a female main character that was out of her mind. This is getting tired for me. It was entertaining enough but nothing I will likely remember in a few months. Also fairly predictable early on. Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. The Safe Place is now available.
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Emily is looking for a new life because hers is a mess.  She has just lost her job, her acting career is going nowhere, and her parents are tired of her only calling when she needs something.  She finds it when her former boss asks her to become a housekeeper of sorts at the home where his reclusive wife and daughter live.  Emily is at first excited for a new start and amazed at the place where she will live.  She soon starts to suspect that all is not as it appears...

A good summer read if a little bit predictable.  I suspected early on what was not right but found it enjoyable just the same.
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This was a DNF for me. I just couldn’t get into the writing...too descriptive. I enjoy books with less fluff.
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4.5 stars, rounding up to 5! 

This is a great psychological thriller (and a realistic one at that)! I could NOT put it down! Honestly, I had no idea what was going to happen in this book & I loved it. With every chapter, I just kept thinking “what’s going on here...?” but I couldn’t figure it out, so I HAD to keep reading until the final twist was revealed. It was well worth staying up late to finish because that ending was crazy - and so satisfying! Someone needs to make this book into a movie, for real, because it would be amazing on screen (especially that wild ending)! 

All in all, this is a great read & I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good thriller (with a side of some dark family drama)! So good! I already can’t wait for Anna Downes’ next book. 

Thank you to NetGalley & St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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When Emily's life, which was on a downward spiral, hits rock bottom, nothing could seem more like a lifesaver than the job offer from her ex-boss. She moves to France to be a live-in house/grounds keeper for his wife and young daughter. It doesn't seem like life could get any better, she's in one of the most beautiful places she's ever seen and living a great life. But then things start not adding up and she very quickly finds that her Shangri-La could actually be her prison. Filled with suspense and twisty surprises this book is a must read!
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I really enjoyed this debut novel of mystery/suspense/thriller by Anna Downes that is told by three different point of views. First there is Emily, an out of work actor that cannot keep a temp job, can’t pay her rent, and her life is one hot mess. Then there is Scott, an extremely wealthy business man, and his beautiful wife Anna. Scott is looking for the perfect  assistant/nanny for his beautiful, doted on wife. They have a big estate in France with all the amenities, including a pool and a cottage for Emily to live in. Scott offers the nanny job to Emily, who was just fired from her temp job at his firm. She is the perfect candidate, which is great for her because she has no place to live, wants an escape from her life and her situation. It sure doesn’t hurt she’s attracted to Scott, so she takes the job. 
She is flown off to France in a private jet. Emily is amazed at the beautiful, secluded, huge French estate where she meets Nina and her sickly daughter Aurelia. Life is pretty great in France, all be it there is no wi-fi, and Nina and Aurelia are a little different.
But something isn’t quite right, and as time goes on for Emily, she finds Scott and Nina have secrets, very big secrets…
I found this book hard to put down at times. It was well written and kept me interested throughout. Good character development. The story keeps building up with each characters life, their past with secrets being slowly revealed. There was one big twist at the end. Which wrapped the book up, and tied up the ends. I was a little bit confused at one small part to the ending, but it wasn’t a big deal.
I didn’t have a lot of time to sit down and read so I purchased the Audible version. Great narrators. There were three separate narrators for each of three main characters, so it was easy to tell each person apart. Definitely one credit worthy. 
*Special thank you to St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Book for the advanced readers copy, in exchange for my honest review* All opinions are my own.
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This book was hard for me to get into, and I ended up having to stop reading. I feel like the character development at the beginning took too long. By the time anything really happened in the story, I was too tired of reading about the characters and had to give up.
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This is one of those books you finish and say WOW! You stay at the end of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. A small group of main characters that you bounce back and forth wondering whether to love or hate them. Twists and turns! Amazing book with great writing, makes for a quick read.
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The Safe Place 
By Anna Downes 
⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.5 Stars

This is a very interesting book that kept me wondering the whole time. The story is different than everything I've read before and it's a mix of mystery, family dramas, with an unexpected and tense twist but a predictable ending (after reading the twist you kinda know how it will end). The beginning was very slow and I only got into the book after reading about 20%. The first 20% of the book is basically for you to understand how Emily's life was before she got the job at the "Safe Place" and it's important to read it but it's very slow. Once she goes to the house to work things start to get better and you keep wondering what's wrong with that family. I really enjoyed this book because it is different than other book I've read and it was very tense twist. I recommend it, it's a great summer read.
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The Safe Place was a great read by Anna Downes. Emily just lost her acting agent, job and apartment all in one day. Scott is a successful CEO who meets Emily and believes that it may fix his problems. Emily takes a job from Scott to be a housekeeper on his French estate. Emily gets enchanted by everything until she realizes that Scott and his family are hiding a dangerous secret. This was a great read by the author.
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It was gripping, entertaining, weird, predictable but great choice to spend your time without thinking apocalyptic and horrifying news and getting rid of your daily paranoia by focusing on something crazier.
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So this is a 4.5 star that I am upgrading to a five star review. This story brings in all the elements of a good story, easily relatable characters, a touch of mood and mystery, and a sinister plot line shrouded in a perfect varnish. I think most of us have probably been Emily Proudman at some point in our lives. Having hedged all her bets on an acting career that isn’t panning out, she has been stuck in a loop of failure after embarrassing failure, culminating in getting fired from her temp job as a receptionist, while almost simultaneously getting tossed off her acting agents list of clients. Facing an imminent eviction, and with no options, Emily can’t believe her luck when her super handsome former boss, Scott Denny, rescued her by giving her a job opportunity. On the surface it sounds like a dream, go to his luxury compound in France and basically act as elevated housekeeper to his wife Nina and their medically fragile daughter Aurelia. Sure the wife is a little odd, and has some weird rules, but for a regular paycheck and a more or less permanent vacation at an exclusive French hideaway, some things can be overlooked. Perhaps she would have been better off turning a blind eye to all the odd things going on, but something about this seemingly perfect family strikes her wrong. Following her gut Emily uncovers a family secret so horrible, it threatens to suck her in, and never let her go. This story could have gone a couple different ways early on, and I will admit I didn’t really see the reveal coming, so I was surprised just a bit. This is a strong debut in a world full of good psychological thrillers. Review posted to Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Litsy, and LibraryThing.
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Paradise comes at a price as Anna Downes shows readers in her debut novel, "The Safe Place." It's a story of privilege, sadness and redemption of sorts. Leading the cast is Emily Proudman, a young woman who lost her acting, agent, job and apartment in one lousy day. When a richer-than-Midas CEO named Scott Denney offers her an opportunity to escape and recharge, she jumps at the chance. Who wouldn't say yes to be a summer housekeeper and child's companion at a secluded French mansion? At first, Emily is exchanged by Nina Denney and her daughter Aurelia. Both are eccentric, but Emily takes she can get past the quirks, enjoy the peace and bathe in the luxury. She soon learns seclusion comes at a price, and money is not the answer to all problems. Kudos to the author for creating a suspenseful drama that sends readers' moral compass spinning.
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This book is very sick..  I decided not to finish it.  It is not at all my cup of tea, and not at all worth my time.
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The main character of this story, Emily, is one of those people that if she didn’t have bad luck she wouldn’t have any luck at all.  Its no wonder that this down-on-her luck wanna-be actress jumped at the chance to live a fairy-tale life in France.  When she is let go from a job she desperately needed, and yet offered a different type of job by the  owner of that same business,  she felt she had no choice but to accept.  That Scott Denny was undeniably one of the most handsome men she had ever met, helped him to talk her into the job.   A few warning bells went off for her, but her circumstances were such that when she was offered this “easy” job with tons of perks, it seemed to be a no-brainer for her to say “yes”.  After all, how difficult can it be to assist with the care of a child, keep house, and do other odd jobs?   As she meets wife Nina and their daughter Aurelia, is given the tour of the property, and already notices a few odd things, more warning bells sound, but they are again dismissed.  The more Emily is drawn into the arms of Nina and Aurelia, the more she discovers that little by little she is losing her own independence and just how much the property is shut off from the rest of the world.  The more she attempts to discover what everyone is hiding, short bursts of memory from her own childhood prior to her adoption pop into her head and she fears what is happening within this small family.  As she pursues her fears, the more danger she finds herself in.....which leads to a dramatic and surprising ending .  I enjoyed this book and can definitely recommend it to readers who like domestic psychological thrillers.  I received an ARC of this book from NetGAlley and St.Martins Press / Minotaur Books In return for an honest review, which this has been.   #NetGalley. #TheSafePlace #StMartinsPress #MinotaurBooks
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I enjoyed reading "The Safe Place" by Anna Downes.  This book gave off gothic vibes, with enough mystery to keep you guessing.  Emily, is a down on her luck, would be actress, who has a hard time keeping a job.  Her last boss hires her to move to France to help with his wife & child.  The narration of the book changes by chapter, giving off clues to each personality.  You know something isn't right, but it's hard to put your finger on it.
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