The Imposter by Anna Wharton

Published by Pan Macmillan

Anna Wharton’s debut, The Imposter, is a spine-chilling suspense about obsession, loneliness and the lies we tell ourselves in order to live with ourselves . . .

The lives of others have always fascinated newspaper archivist Chloe. And when she comes across a cutting of a little girl who went missing twenty-five years ago, she is moved by the unwavering devotion of the child’s parents and their belief that their daughter will one day return.

Meanwhile, news that her beloved Nan, the only family she has left, must move into a nursing home, leaves Chloe distraught and soon to be homeless. So when the missing girl’s parents advertise for a lodger, Chloe sees this as a sign – a new home and the perfect opportunity to investigate the case. But it’s not long until she realises the couple aren’t all they seem from the outside . . .

With everyone in the house hiding something, the question is – whose secrets are the most dangerous?

Expected publication date: 8th April 2021

This is 100% a five star read but I will confess that I had to keep putting the book down in order to full body cringe every time the main character did something overwhelmingly ballsy/outrageous. I’m not good with awkward and this book was mostly about awkwardness.

Chloe works in the archiving department of a local paper and comes across the story of a local girl, Angie, who went missing 25 years ago, she becomes obsessed with helping the parents find peace and ends up living with them as their lodger. This obsession and total lack of boundaries is what made me cringe so much!

Chloe is sad and hurting because her Gran is losing herself to dementia and it’s impossible to feel anything but sorry for her. Combined with a sense that she’s hiding something about her past throughout, she’s a character you desperately sympathise with even if you can’t agree with her actions.

The overriding theme in this book is grief. Chloe is coming to terms with losing her gran to dementia, even while she’s still alive, and Angie’s parents are grieving for the little girl who was never found. All of the characters deal with their losses in very different but understandable ways, hitting the reader right in the heart.

Everyone in this story has their secrets, some larger and more outrageous than others and revealed gradually for maximum effect – with some absolute doozies dropped right at the end! This is a fantastic thriller with a huge amount of feeling to it, a strong contender for my book of the year already.

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