Creepy road on cover? Must be a thriller…
Author: Lisa Lutz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it…
Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.
She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.
It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?
You know those books that when you sit down to write your review, or thoughts on the book, you just don’t really have a whole lot to say? This is one of those books for me. While I did enjoy reading The Passenger, it didn’t really leave a lasting impression on me either. I have conflicted feelings about this book. On one hand The Passenger held my attention throughout the book, but on the other I also wanted a little more from it.
Our main character, let’s refer to her as “Tanya,” was a big struggle for me throughout the book. She lacked any type of personality, which made it hard to connect with her. I wondered if this was intentional on the author’s part to play into the whole “woman on the run” portion of the book where our main character had to shift her identity often… Regardless, her lack of emotion made it hard for me to root for her or to care about her outcome. I don’t necessarily need to like a character, but I do need to understand the character & see the reasoning behind their actions. I really think if we had been given flashbacks to her previous life throughout the novel (instead of all at the end) this would have helped me sympathize with her.
The “life on the run” portions of the plot – changing identities, living out of hotels, relocating multiple times, always looking over her shoulder, etc. – was my favorite aspect of the book. I actually felt like the majority of these parts of the book were very believable, which I appreciated. There is nothing worse than reading a thriller book where you side eye the plausibility of the character’s actions.
Speaking of plausibility, not every aspect in The Passenger was exactly believable. While I liked the inclusion of Blue’s character, aspects about her & her part in the story were a tad farfetched. The big plot twist at the end didn’t really sit right with me. While I didn’t see it coming at all, it didn’t exactly shock me either… This particular twist could have worked IF we had been given more back story into Tanya’s life. In all honesty it felt like it was thrown in for the shock factor, but wasn’t set up correctly.
Despite my grievances, this book was definitely a page-turner. I just had to know what was going to happen to Tanya, or where she was going to end up next. So while I did enjoy this book while I was reading it, it didn’t exactly “pack a punch” or make itself stand out in my mind from other thriller books I’ve read either.
Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including The Passenger (Simon & Schuster, March 2016), How to Start a Fire, and the six novels in the Spellman series. Her next standalone, The Swallows, will be released in 2018. Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She is currently a writer on the HBO series The Deuce. She lives in the Hudson Valley, New York.