A few critics have noted that Barton tips her hand too soon. While that might be a first-time novelist's mistake, it might also be the deliberate work of a professional observer who knows that the lies we tell ourselves can be more devastating than those we tell others.
Barton is a veteran British journalist who has reported for the Daily Mail and other publications, so it comes as no surprise that her prose is deft and her story well told. What does come as a surprise is that her novel is also richly character-driven in a way that is both satisfying and engrossing.
Barton knows how to ramp up tension, but when she leaves Jean to focus on the detective and the reporter, the story loses some steam. All three have secrets, and they all lie, but Jean is lying to herself, which makes her far more interesting.