What evil lurks behind the beautiful facade of The Safe Place?

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This first glimpse into The Safe Place by Anna Downes was an amazing start to this very eerie and intriguing mystery thriller. The complex characters and multilayered plot immediately pulled me. The descriptive, fast paced writing style completely held my attention. The mounting tension of the story as the dark plot began to reveal itself left me wanting so much more. This carefully crafted story is a fantastic book debut for Anna Downes and I look forward to the opportunity of finding out how this suspenseful thriller unfolds.

Emily Proudman’s life is a mess! Her acting career is not going as planned. She feels like life is too big as she struggles to deal with almost everything. Most days she’s overwhelmed and baffled but after being fired from her temp job at Proem Partners she finds herself broke and about to be evicted from her apartment. She has very few friends to rely on, especially since most of her friends have moved on and have scattered across the country. She’s not close to her family and often only turns to them when she needs money which usually leads to arguments and hateful words. In desperation, Emily calls her mother for help. When her mother answers the phone she finds out that her family is having a cozy dinner without her. Once again, feeling like the adopted black sheep of the family, Emily's words and her request for money are unnecessarily hurtful especially since her mother was foolishly hoping that Emily was simply calling to wish her a Happy Birthday! As her emotional mother hangs up on her, Emily’s situation becomes more desperate. Will she be able to find another job before her world completely falls apart? How will she react when she finds out that her previous boss has secret plans that directly involve her?

Scott Denny is the CEO of Proems Partners. His office and business are his vision and his dream. He launched his own fund, developing emerging companies. He’s always planning and working to make his dreams real. He's a very strong and charismatic man who felt that he only had to think of what he wanted and it would appear. He fell in love with his wife Nina at first sight and thought his connection with Nina was unbreakable but he doesn’t feel that way anymore. Nina’s constant texts and need to talk to someone has made him glittery, agitated and unable to sleep. Lately he feels restless, exhausted, distracted and devoid of ideas.

Six weeks earlier Scott noticed Emily at his reception desk. He felt that there was something familiar about her. After looking into her background and following her, he discovered that she’s an unsuccessful actress who lives a very isolated life with very few friends and no notable family connections. Immediately a plan begins to develop. He assigns her odd tasks and discovers she’s so eager to please that she will complete every task without hesitation. After calling in a favor he receives a thick orange envelope which makes him believe that fate has led Emily to him. His tiny plan suddenly becomes fully formed. The first thing he needs to do is to have Emily fired from his company. What important information was in that thick orange envelope? What deep, dark secrets is Scott hiding? Why is Scott so distraught and wound up? Why is he filled with rage, violence and the need to inflict pain on himself? What part will Emily play in his sinister plans?

This first glimpse into The Safe Place was outstanding! This book has the potential to be a story that keeps you at the edge of your seat, making it impossible to put down as the plot unfolds, secrets are revealed, and unexpected surprises are uncovered! What makes this story even more intriguing is that it is inspired by the author's own experiences working as a live-in housekeeper on a remote French estate. The author has definitely set the stage for an intense and suspenseful mystery thriller. I can’t wait to discover the dark secrets and web of lies that are lying in wait behind the beautiful facade of The Safe Place!

The picture on the cover is beautiful, inviting and immediately draws you in. However, after reading the book's description it becomes clear that it’s just a way to disguise the dangerous secrets of this dark mystery thriller. Is it a Paradise? Will Emily be allowed to escape? What really lies behind the secrets of The Safe Place? I can’t wait to find out!