The Safe Place

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jul 2020

Member Reviews

Great debut novel! Emily is a young woman unsure of what her life goals are, and after being fired from her temp job, her boss comes back with another offer for her to help his wife and daughter at an seaside estate in France. What starts as the ultimate dream job and too good to be true paradise slowly becomes a nightmare. Close knit family, an unstable and mysterious wife and child, leads Emily into all kinds of terrifying situations. This was a well thought out plot, and I read it way past my bedtime; it was hard to put down. There were many plot twists, and just when I thought I’d figured something out, along came another twist. Spellbinding would not be too strong an adjective for this book! A thoroughly enjoyable, nail biting read, and kept my interest throughout, all the way to the last page. I highly recommend this mystery thriller.
Thank you to the author, netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Emily is an awkward young woman who struggles to keep a job, maintain a relationship with her family, and pay the rent in a timely manner.  All of that changes when Scott Denny hires her to be a caretaker/friend to his daughter and wife in an isolated part of France.  The Denny family gives Emily a sense of belonging like none she has felt before in her life.  She finally feels connected and lives life with a purpose.  However, sometimes things can be too good to be true, and this might just be one of those cases.

Downes develops the plot fairly well, and I loved Emily's character.  I am not sure I could fully relate to the rest of the Denny family.  I wish the author would have spent more time helping the reader identify with the Scott and Nina.  I would have been more invested in their characters when the secrets unraveled if I had been more connected to them.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  I would certainly recommend it to mystery lovers.  Thank you NetGalley for the arc of this suspenseful read.
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When things seem to be too good to be true they usually are.  Emily had just lost her last shot at an acting career, been fired from her temp job in London, and was estranged from her parents when she was offered, what she thought was the job of a lifetime. Her ex-boss needed someone to go Querencia, his fabulous but very isolated estate on the coast of France, to be a companion and au pair for his wife Nina and their 7 yo daughter Aurelia, who was supposed to have severe medical problems.  Emily knew right away that things were very strange at Querencia but she immediately liked Nina and relished the close relationship that seemed to be developing.  Because she finally felt useful, needed, and liked she kept rationalizing away the small things that started bugging her.  But, the longer she was there the more she realized that something was very wrong with Nina and perhaps Aurelia wasn’t as ill as she had been told. Emily’s job of a lifetime was becoming a nightmare and Querencia might be a safe place for Nina but it definitely isn’t for Emily. It may be the last job she ever has!  A  Safe Place is a carefully crafted story of love and trust that turns to hate and betrayal.  This one will keep you up all night to finish.
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This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I could not get enough of this book. This was very tough to stop and every time you thought you had the book figured out, a new twist happens that is unexpected. There is Emily Proudman who had it all but suddenly lost everything she had including her job, and her home. Then comes Scott who is a business mogul that has everything imaginable and he hires Emily as a housekeeper on his estate. Emily meets his wife and son and with a house poolside, she thought she has everything she ever wanted until she realizes that life isn't always exactly what it seems. Scott and Nina are secretly dangerous and if Emily leaves, her life is at risk almost like she is trapped in paradise. Emily does the best she can by playing along and getting out while she still has the chance. I absolutely love this book and when it is released, it will be nominated as a pick for our Adult Book Club. I can't wait to share it with our community.

We will consider adding this title to our Adult Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs's debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.

Welcome to paradise...will you ever be able to leave?

Emily is a mess.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

Emily is desperate.

Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.

Emily is perfect.

Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn't play along, the consequences could be deadly.

This is a crazy twisty book that you should stay up late or very late to read. The plot is dynamic and twisty and an incredible joy to read. How can this possibly BE A DEBUT NOVEL??? Miss Downes should write more books - a lot more books as this one is going to fly off the shelves. Spend some time with these characters and you will not be disappointed. 

Take this book to the beach with a tonne of SPF1000 sunscreen as you will lose track of time and end up fried to a crisp as a result.  (or better yet, read it on the porch!)

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🏖️ 🏖️ 🏖️ 🏖️ 🏖️
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Wow this was a great thriller! I really had no idea exactly where is the author was going with the story as I read it. The characters were very complex in the way the author introduced suspense to the story was done in pieces and layers slowly began to unravel. I found myself rereading what the premise of this story was about because I was not sure where it was going to go! It captured my attention and it read very quickly.  Thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Dynamically written.  Plot twists like crazy.  I read The Safe Place in one day.  Stayed up WAY past bedtime and am NOT sorry!  Will recommend to patrons and for book club use.
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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Ms. Downes has written a wonderful, engaging book with characters that you love, hate, and just plain wonder about. The writing style makes you feel that you are physically standing there with the characters and are privy to their inner secrets. 

There is a small, core group of characters which makes the story all the more intimate. Scott Denny is the founder of a Capital Investment Firm. While he lives and works in London, his wife Nina and their daughter Aurelia live full-time on the coast of France on an estate called Querencia. 

Scott hires Emily Proudman - a part-time actress, part-time temp receptionist to go and live in France with his family to keep Nina company. He doesn't give her full details of the job other than basic duties that she will have like housekeeping and occasional child-minding. While Emily was a temp at his offices, she caught his eye as someone who really needed a job and might just fit the bill for his family. He makes her sign a Confidentiality Agreement. She wonders about it at the time but doesn't give it too much thought as many jobs entail Non-disclosure Agreements. To Emily it sounds like a dream come true....a car, an expense account, a house to live does sound too good to be true but Emily doesn't notice that - at first. 

As bits and pieces start to bother Aurelia's illness, the massive security on the property, why Emily is not allowed inside the main house and who exactly is Amandine Tessier. 

This book was very difficult to put down and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from Ms. Downes in the future.
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After losing her job and her home all in one day, Emily is incredibly grateful when wealthy CEO Scott Denny offers her a job as a housekeeper on his summer estate in France. Emily loves his beautiful wife Nina and their charming daughter and can’t believe her luck, spending the summer on this gorgeous French estate. Little does she know that Nina and Scott are not at all what they seem, and is Emily doesn’t fall in line, this job may be her last. Beautiful people in a beautiful setting are still ugly underneath all their polish in veneer in this explosively exciting read
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