Today I am reviewing on its publication day The Stepson by Jane Renshaw, published by Inkubator Books.
He lost one family. Now he’s ready for another.
Psychotherapist Lulu is sure she’s the luckiest woman alive. She has a wonderful job and is married to the love of her life, Nick – who also happens to be ridiculously handsome and fabulously wealthy.
But now a shadow has fallen on her perfect life.
She can see that Nick is struggling with demons from his past. When he was sixteen his entire family disappeared without a trace and Nick has always insisted that his stepmother – whom he hated – was to blame, that she did something terrible to his beloved father and baby sister. And that trauma has left him feeling that anyone he loves is in danger, might vanish in a heartbeat.
So now he is obsessed with Lulu’s safety. He needs to know where she is 24/7, insists she carries a can of pepper spray, is constantly watching for any potential threats.
Lulu can see that this extreme anxiety is wearing Nick down. And as a therapist, she knows the only way to heal a trauma is to confront it. So she persuades him to return to the country house from which his family vanished.
But soon after they arrive in this sleepy rural community, another person disappears.
As Lulu is forced to question everything she knows about Nick and his missing family, dark secrets emerge from the past. The certainties of her old life fade away and are replaced by a horror she could never have imagined in her wildest nightmares.
The Stepson – the stunning psychological thriller perfect for fans of Teresa Driscoll, K L Slater, Daniel Hurst.
Before The Stepson, I had yet to read a book from Jane Renshaw and after only hearing great things about her work, I was excited when the stars aligned and the opportunity to read this book came up. The premise was right up my alley and I do love a tale that involves you second guessing its characters.
Whilst I did find at times that this moved at a slightly slower pace and was repetitive, it still is an entertaining read that kept me wanting to keep flicking the pages to see how it would all unfold. All round my first experience of reading Renshaw’s work was good and I would definitely like to read more from her.
Thank you to Jane Renshaw, Inkubator Books and Booksprout for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Stepson, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play and Barnes & Noble if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK, but will post to Waterstones & Foyles if also available.
Let’s Get to Know Jane Renshaw
As a child, Jane spent a lot of time in elaborate Lego worlds populated by tiny plastic animals and people. Crime levels were high, especially after the Dragon brothers set themselves up as vets and started murdering the animals in their ‘care’. (They got away with it by propping the victims up with Plasticine and pretending they were still alive…)
As an adult, she is still playing in imaginary worlds and putting her characters through hell – but now she can call it ‘writing’ and convince herself that she is doing something sensible. In real life, she has a PhD in genetics and copy-edits scientific and medical journals.