Cover Image: Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel

Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel

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Member Reviews

I read this in October 2020 and loved it:

I love how Lisa Unger writes! There is a dark side to what is happening to Selena and her husband. The surface is just that, the very least of what is happening. This book takes on so many dark and evil themes. 
Read it! Knowing less is better.
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This was my first Lisa Unger book and I had to stew about it for a while before I put my thoughts down.

I will admit that I’m not a thriller groupie like some of you are. But I was at one time, and I’ve come to expect a lot out of a book that vows to thrill me.

Selina Murphy is working hard to support her two boys and her husband who claims he is between jobs, the same husband she just caught doing their nanny. 

On her commute home from work one night, Selina finds herself spilling her story to a strange woman named Martha, who herself admits she is caught in an affair with her boss. 

Days later, when their nanny disappears, the police show up at Selina’s door. She can’t help but wonder if her husband had anything to do with this, and to make it even weirder she receives a text from an unknown number, “It’s Martha, by the way, from the train.” 

There are the typical suspense tropes like cheating and cons in here, even a stranger on the train is nothing new. And you have to be a little patient, as a storyline about a girl named Pearl comes in, and for a while, it’s unclear the connection.

Unger digs into the individual moments of life: talking with your kids about an argument, not crossing that line with an ex, and it’s this type of writing that will make me read Lisa Unger again.

Thank you to @netgalley and @parkrowbooks for this digital copy.

TW: Adultery and spousal abuse
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Lisa Unger has done it again - grabbed me from the first paragraph and didn't let go until I had read the entire book in two days. Fast-paced psychological thriller with great characters and plot twists. Highly recommended
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Absolutely loved this story! Looking forward to reading more books by this author! Highly recommend!
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There was a lot of hype leading up to this one and I think that may have worked against me.  I was expecting a bit more punch to it.  It did, however, offer gritty, engaging, multi-character suspense with lots of twists.  I had it "figured out" (slightly incorrectly) early on, but didn't have it "all figured out" - the author took things down some unexpected paths.  The pinnacle of the book was great - we moved at a decent pace and things sped up where needed, but then I found the falling action and denouement just a little flat and unsatisfying.  In a nutshell, I enjoyed the book - pacing and atmosphere were spot-on and I was intrigued throughout.  A few small aspects left me hoping for just a little bit more.
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Another winner by Lisa Unger. An intriguing, although somewhat confusing, story involving multiple characters and intertwined stories. After randomly sharing her problems with a total stranger(?)On a train, Selena finds her life will never be the same again after catching her husband having relations with the nanny who shortly thereafter disappears. And that’s the easy part. I found it difficult to figure out the relationships of the other characters in the book both with Selena as well as each other very confusing and took something away from my enjoyment of the book. I love her books but if it wasn’t for her writing ability I think I might have given up when things became convoluted.
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The impulse to bare one’s soul to the stranger sitting next to you is a popular trope in fiction. And while I’ve never had the impulse to say more than “hello” to my seatmate, the existence of advice columnists, “AITA” subreddits, and anonymous confessional websites point to the real-life popularity of this cliché. Now Clearwater, Florida author Lisa Unger has used this scenario as the basis of her latest thriller, Confessions on the 7:45. And while the book starts out in an expectable way, Unger takes the plot in completely unpredictable directions. 

To read the complete review, click on the link below.
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A great psychological suspense. A bit too much introspection by the main character but still quite riveting. Lots of anti men comments, but the ones in this story definitely deserve it! A twisted tale of revenge, scams, and assumed identities.
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In "Confessions on the 7:45," Lisa Unger's characters routinely lie to themselves and others, ignore lessons they should have learned from the past, and are under the illusion that vengeance, wealth, and putting up a false front to the world will bring them the satisfaction that they seek.  Pearl is the fifteen-year-old daughter of a single mom as well as a bright student who loves literature, but she has little contact with her peers.  Selena has been married for almost ten years to Graham, and they have two young sons. Sadly, their relationship is a house of cards; one nudge, and it will collapse.  A third character, Anne, is having a torrid affair with Hugh, her wealthy boss's attractive husband.

For much of the novel, we wonder what connection, if any, exists between Pearl, Selena, and Anne. In this diabolically clever and original tale, the author gradually exposes a series of shocking secrets.  Furthermore, in alternating chapters, we learn how their childhoods formed Pearl, Selena, and Anne's personalities.  Unger suggests that traumatic experiences in one's youth can have devastating effects on an individual's ability to grow into a mentally healthy adult.  In addition, parents and other guardians may feed their children a steady diet of falsehoods in the belief that they are doing so with good intentions. Duplicity, more often than not, has adverse consequences that it is difficult, if not impossible, to undo.

Unger ratchets up the suspense as her ingenious plot unfolds.  We are mesmerized by the myriad ways in which various people (some well-meaning, others malevolent) destroy themselves and others. One unconventional element is that the villains, as obnoxious as they are, have one or two redeeming features.  We do not fully sympathize with them or condone their bad behavior, but we recognize that their actions are a logical outgrowth of their upbringing.  Eventually, everyone's lives intersect in strange and perilous ways, and it is fascinating to observe the skill with which Unger concludes her novel.  Although at times, evildoers may appear to get away with their crimes, this is an illusion.  There is always a price to pay; the worst may be the death of one's soul.
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“This is Martha, by the way. From the train.” *chills*

   Lisa Unger Took me on one wild and crazy ride with this tents thriller. imagine if you are on a train with a beautiful stranger and the train gets stuck on the tracks. While you are stuck the stranger confesses she’s having an affair with her boss, not knowing what to say you blurred out that you think your husband is having an affair with the nanny. can’t do any harm Canet? After you get off this train you’re never going to see the stranger again.  then a few days later said nanny goes missing, coincidence? I think not.... This is what happens to Selena, and after this encounter on the train her life will never be the same.

   The story bounces between multiple perspectives as well as now and then. I was completely consumed by the story all I kept thinking is what in the world would I do if I were Salina? She really got herself into a terrible pickle. as the story went on Selena got even more twisted up with Martha digging a deeper and deeper hole for herself. And this begs the question, who in the world is Martha? And what is her connection to Selena? You will need to read this to find that out, and trust me you’ll be surprised. A well told, fast-paced, addictive thriller!

*** Big thank you to Harlequin for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
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Oh my!! What a book. It thrilled from the beginning when secrets of the past and present collided on the 7:45 train, and none realized that their path was getting derailed.

Selena led a good life with Graham and the boys and their nanny, with just a small twist. Graham was sleeping with the nanny. On the 7:45 train, she met Martha, and both confessed secrets about themselves. And life exploded when the nanny went missing, and cops got involved.

My first book by author Lisa Unger held me in thrall from the first page and never let me go. It took me time to reconcile with Selena’s character. I could see shades of myself in her. The first section with multiple POV seemed confusing initially, until I figured out where their lives would entwine.

In such a story where lies were paramount, I was amazed that the author could make me feel empathy for the characters. Life was shown in different shades. And all the characters including a retired cop had their ups and downs.

There was just a tiny nigglette, if you could call it that, the best friend and the would be identity of one of the characters were the same, so that confused me. I thought it was another subplot. But it wasn’t.

Overall, a fun breakfast read where I needed something fast to get my adrenaline flowing.
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Selena Murphy was having a bad day. She caught her husband having sex with the nanny on their security cameras. It wasn't the first time Graham had ignored their marriage vows, but for some reason, this time leaves Selena feeling empty. She really liked that nanny. On the train home from work, Selena finds herself sharing her deepest secrets with a complete stranger. At home she confronts Graham and it does not go well. And then on Monday, the nanny doesn't show up for work. The police get involved and question both Graham and Selena. Selena knows that Graham has issues, but did he murder the nanny, too?

Confessions on the 7:45 is a fast-paced mystery novel about the secrets we keep. Selena Murphy is a sympathetic character. She just saw her husband having sex with the nanny and I don't think there is a female reader out there who wouldn't sympathize with her. From the very first moment he was introduced, Graham came across as a dick. Of course, we were first introduced to Graham as he was screwing the nanny, but it did not get better from there. As for Pearl and Geneva, it was easy to feel sympathy for them, too. Their childhood was tragic and that manifested into what they were doing.  When it came to the train, I thought for sure that  we were going to get some twist on the old "Strangers on a Train" movie. But I was wrong. - CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS

Bottom Line - Confessions on the 7:45 was a fabulous mystery. It was fast-paced full of thrilling moments. And with twists that will leave you speechless!

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger
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Pages: 368
Publisher: Park Row
Publication Date: 9/1/2020
Buy it Here!
Thank you to NetGalley for the book in exchange for a review.
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In this fast-paced, twisted novel, we follow a woman who shares a secret with the stranger on her commute. But when a mysterious disappearance happens a few days later, she believes the listener may be more than just that..

From multiple POVs, we jump through all the lies, secrets, and disguises slithering into a well-written story of revenge. I was completely engrossed in this slow-burning thriller that quickly withers me from page to page.

I 100% recommend this one for lovers of domestic, cheating dramas mixed with a powerful, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat suspense plot. This one deserves every inch of a high 4 out of 5 stars.
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This book was amazing. I loved the story and how they overlapped. It kept me on my toes, I would 100% recommend.
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This book was an excellent mastery of suspense. the characters were unaware of the complexities they were to endure in their worlds. The depth of the lies and deceit caused many unexpected turns to the characters.The characters were flawed but well developed. This mystery was very engaging.
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Confessions On The 7:45 was filled with instant drama. Once Selina missed her train and the nanny-cam started rolling, I was in!! Unger’s book is filled with incredibly flawed characters with hidden pasts and secrets oozing out of their pores.  The pacing was perfect, the plot was well developed and the suspense was on point. The storylines hop around a bit in the book, but Unger did a fantastic job knitting it all together.  Cheating husbands with a dash of mysterious strangers and a splash of deception make a toxic cocktail.  Throw in a few dead bodies, a couple of con artists and twists to catch you off guard, and Confessions On The 7:45 is your next stiff drink.  Bottoms up!

I hope you enjoy this thrilling ride…choo choo!!!!
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Lisa Unger can scare you half to death when she wants to, and she usually wants to. In her new book, she'll teach you the folly of ever speaking to strangers.  A wife and businesswoman who has  just watched her husband on a home surveillance camera having sex with the nanny sits depressed and angry on the train that will take her home when a stranger strikes up a conversation. Before long, the betrayed wife is spilling her marriage secrets to the stranger. The other woman says, "Wouldn't it nice if your problem just disappeared?" When the troublesome nanny does exactly that -- and the woman on the train keeps making contact -- it's obvious lines have been crossed and the stranger may not be a stranger at all. From that opening, the story twists in endless unexpected directions and secrets both recent and long-held emerge with horrifying frequency. This is a story in which everything surprises,, and it winds around to an ending that could never have been predicted. One of Unger's most complex and involving works.
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Lisa Unger is known for writing psychological thrillers. This is another good one. Selena Murphy has just got her husband on the nanny-cam boinking the nanny. Not sure how to proceed, she confesses her misgivings to a seeming stranger on the train home from work. Things begin to unravel when she starts getting texts from the woman on the train...only problem is, Selena did not share her number with this unknown woman. And then, the nanny disappears. Selena's husband, Graham, swears he did nothing to her, but his rising violence towards Selena says otherwise. The police are not sure either and when they discover steamy texts between the nanny and Graham, it appears to paint a bulls-eye on him. As Selena tries to uncover what really happened, it becomes more clear that her happy "Instagram-able" life is not what it appears to be.
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Everyone has a secret... Now she knows yours.

Lisa Unger's Confessions on the 7:45 is a suspenseful psychological thriller. There are multiple POVs, an interesting plot with a nod to Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.
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This is the first title by this author for me and I do not think that it will be my last. Confessions on the 7:45 is a taut thriller that unfolds in ways not always expected. What if Selena had gotten her usual train home? What if she had not talked to Martha on the train? What if Selena’s husband was not at home with the nanny? Well…then we would not have this engrossing story.

This title is being compared to Strangers on a Train. That may be but it tells is own atmospheric and suspenseful tale. I recommend it and suggest that you have time when you start the book as you may want to read it in one sitting.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.
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