Greenwich Park is my favourite of all the London parks. It’s my happy place – I never fail to feel better after spending a few hours there. So imagine my delight when I saw this book. Even better – Greenwich Park is a tantalising, clever thriller that I loved reading. One of my go-to genres set in one of my go-to places. Perfection.
Opening sentence: (HMP Bowood, 5th November 2019) Dear Helen, I know you asked me not to write to you again.
Yes, as you can tell from that intriguing opening sentence, someone ends up in prison. But who? Why? Well, these are the reasons you’re going to want to keep reading!
The story is told from the POV of a few characters, so it weaves through sub-plots and different character’s takes on things to maximum effect.
Have you been to Greenwich Park?
I loved so clearly recognising landmarks and navigating the same streets as the characters when reading. Greenwich is so familiar to me, so I was instantly immersed in the story.
Our lead character, Helen, her husband Daniel, her brother Rory and his wife, Serena, all went to Cambridge University together and now in their 30s, they live in Greenwich, South-East London, where Helen and Rory grew up. They are a firm foursome and certainly seem close but there are more than a few secrets bubbling under the surface.
Antenatal friends are like no other
Helen and Serena find themselves pregnant at the same time. When Serena is a no-show at an antenatal class, Helen ends up befriending Rachel. Or rather – Rachel thrusts her friendship on Helen and she’s sort of stuck with her.
Later, after everything, I will come to wonder why I act as I do in this moment.
This is when there is a shift in the story. Rachel is not someone Helen would usually make friends with, so we are left wondering the true nature of their friendship and what Rachel really wants from it.
The structure of Greenwich Park is excellent – there are quite a few pointers and clues woven into the story and every time we were given a new one, I felt a little jolt of excitement. I love thrillers like this – that drop in new details at just the right moments. A nice touch that added to this atmosphere of tension and the sense of building up to something was that we get a countdown to both Helen’s due date and events in the story.
It was also great to read from the POV of a pregnant lead character. This is a unique time, your emotions do ramp up and your perspectives on things do change, so when you layer on a set of sinister circumstances, the scene is set for an excellent, riveting read. I enjoyed it right until the very last tantalising sentence.