Cover Image: Invisible Girl

Invisible Girl

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Member Reviews

This is a well-paced novel that was very thought-provoking. Twisty and shocking on occasion it was a good read.
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Ah, if ever there was a stereotypical geography teacher, then Jewell has nailed it! Maybe that's a bit harsh on geography teachers but lets be honest, they're never the hot guy with loads of dates are they?
Anyhooo, I enjoyed this. I can't say there were any characters I really liked in it, except maybe Josh (he reminded me of an older version of my son). I think this lack of relatable "nice" characters may be why I didn't rate it higher, there was nobody you were rooting for. Yes, Owen got the short straw but he didn't exactly help himself, Roan was one of those characters where you wondered why he hadn't lost his job and Saffyre was just annoying.
There was a point where it reminded me of the news a few months ago about the guy who went on a murder spree because he couldn't get a girlfriend. And then there was another where it reminded me of the tv show "A Mother's Son" with Hermione Norris. There was so many ways that this could go. I won't ruin it by telling you how it did end but it was satisfying.
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Despite it's gripping prologue that leaves you on the precipice of wanting more, what then played out I wasn't sure if I would enjoy INVISIBLE GIRL as much as Lisa Jewell's previous thrillers. But I should not have doubted because while I initially thought it a slow start the beginning was actually laying the foundations for a solid thriller that left readers questioning just what the hell was going on. I mean, seriously? And then just when you think you know what is going on, the shift changes again leaving your head spinning going...what the...?

While it is not my favourite that Lisa Jewell has penned - "Then She Was Gone" topped that list - it is a good solid thriller that will keep you guessing...even when you think you know how it is going to play out. But besides being a thriller, it is also a thought-provoking story of abuse, misogyny and sexual assault. The main players being: a suspicious wife, a dodgy husband, a creepy neighbour and a 17 year old girl who has thus gone missing. So what happened on that Valentine's night? Who is responsible for the missing girl's disappearance? Someone saw something, surely. Or someone isn't telling the truth.

Saffyre Maddox is not your typical teenager. She has no real friends, is not interested in boys and spends most of her time roaming the streets of a Hampstead village predominantly at night. She's the invisible girl no one sees. But when she was 10 years old she suffered something so traumatic it altered her perspective on life, on people, on everything. And so she self harms as a consequence. She received therapy from child psychologist Roan Fours for three years before he deemed her progress to be so improved she no longer needed him. But Roan had barely scratched the surface and Saffyre's issues were so deep-seated they remained unresolved. And in a bid to heal herself, she begins to stalk Roan and uncovers something she never expected to find. And then she disappears...

Cat Fours is a middle-aged middle class wife married to Roan with two teenage children - Georgia (15) and Josh (14). They are currently renting a flat in Hampstead while their own house in Kilburn is being restored. But despite her smiles, Cat isn't at all happy and, not for the first time, suspects Roan of having an affair. In fact, it's not even the first time he's had an affair. His behaviour is a little off coupled with the late nights and early starts and endless amounts of running he does, something just doesn't sit right. She thought, when looking for temporary premises, that Hampstead would be a nice quiet and exclusive place to live for the duration...until she hear the news of sexual assaults on women nearby. And when Georgia calls her one night on her way home from the Tube, scared that someone is following her, Cate fears for her daughter's safety whilst someone is out there targeting women.

Owen Pick is a non-descript man with no friends and is a 33 year old virgin. He has something of a sad family background, leaving him feeling awkward and out of step in social situations, and has lived with his aunt in Hampstead since he was eighteen. Things get even worse for him when his drink is spiked at a school disco he is chaperoning and he makes untoward advances and inappropriate comments to some of the students, and is thus suspended. Everyone thinks Owen is strange, weird, creepy even - the girls at school, the neighbours, a woman he inadvertently bumped into on his way home, even his aunt. And the girl across the road keeps giving him strange looks whilst he just stares blankly at her, wondering what it is he has done. And then things go from bad to worse for poor Owen when Saffyre goes missing and she was last seen outside his house.

How these people's lives intersect in this dark and somewhat disturbing tale unfolds through the eyes of Saffyre, Cate and Owen both before and after Valentine's night around which this story revolves. The narrative is dark and it is chilling and I had no idea who would come out of it unbroken...if at all. What is essentially highlighted in this book is not only the obvious but the vulnerability of people like Owen and how susceptible they are to predators of a different kind. I especially sympathised with Owen because he was so incredibly awkward around people, he even admitted that women terrified him, and yet he was in the frame for Saffyre's disappearance. But is he guilty? Or is it the work of the serial predator around the neighbourhood who has been assaulting women? Or something more sinister?

The other characters all have their redeeming and even less redeeming qualities but they each played a part in this disturbing thriller where no one is who they appear to be. Cate was a protective mother hen, suspicious of hubby Roan, who himself was decidedly dodgy anyway. Then there is son Josh who appears to be sweeter that sweet son but what is he really hiding? And Georgia's friend Tilly who claimed she was assaulted as she left their house and then retracted her she telling the truth or hiding something? Everyone in this book, pretty much, is hiding something. Nobody is who they appear to be.

And then there is that ending...BAM! What the...?

Upon re-reading the last lines, I was like...Lisa Jewell, you have redeemed yourself with that ending!! And best of all, those short snappy chapters keep the pace moving along nicely even when it starts off slow.

Perfect for fans of dark and twisted thrillers.

I would like to thank #LisaJewell, #Netgalley and #Bookouture for an ARC of #InvisibleGirl in exchange for an honest review.
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An excellent story that explores how well we know the depths of the people around us or even ourselves. Although there is a large cast of characters each person was distinct and unique. I never had a problem telling them apart or wondering who was who.  Although this started of quite slowly I had immediate sympathy for the family at the centre of the story.  Having had to live in accommodation paid for by an insurance company while my house was rebuilt I know how disorienting it can be and so I identified with Cate and very much wanted to follow her story even if at times I wasn’t sure I liked her.
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Claustrophobic. Nail biting. Absolutely brilliant! Another excellent Lisa Jewell. I will always pick up her next as they just get better and better.
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I guessed a couple of the reveals long before they appeared - including one of the biggest - and yet it did not take away my enjoyment of this book. Lisa Jewell is wonderful at creating the dark atmosphere in her novels and this is no different. The characters were great and explored subjects that are not commonplace even in the crime world. When I finished this I had to carry on reading more of Jewell's books as I usually do when I read one of them!
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I was really disappointed with Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell. Usually I love Lisa’s books but unfortunately I did not enjoy this one. I found it really slow and boring and I did not finish it. Sorry not for me.
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Rounded up from 3.5 stars

So I got this out from the library a few weeks ago, forgetting that I also had a copy of this from Netgalley. Yes, I have a problem and no, I will not do anything about it.

The story revolves around three points of view, Cate Fours, Saffyre Maddox and Owen Pick. 

Cate is a stay at home mum who is trying to make the move back into work. She's married to Roan, a child psychologist. Their marriage is on the rocks. Cate is convinced he's hiding something.
Owen has never had a girlfriend. He lives a lonely existence with his elderly aunt. He's seen as an oddball by everyone.

Saffyre is a troubled 17-year-old, holding onto the hurt in her past. When she goes missing, it sets off a chain of events that no-one could predict.

When I started reading this I was kind of like, what's going on here? Who are these three people and what have they got to do with each other? It ended up taking me a while to actually get into the story, but once I did, I was hooked.

I have to be honest; I found Owen entirely unlikeable to begin with, but as the story carried on, just kind of ending up feeling sorry for him. By the end, he felt like a completely different person and ended up having the best character arc of all three of them.

Invisible Girl ended up surprising me, in a good way, and I will recommend it if you love character driven psychological thrillers.
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I thought this would be great, but for me I didn’t like it as much as some of her others. It lacked excitement for me. 

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
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This was my first introduction to Lisa Jewell’s work and I am proud to announce that I ended up liking this book to an extent. First of all, I love the the missing-person trope in thriller and mystery novels and for someone who has read quite a bit of said trope, I was desperately hoping that this book wouldn’t take the easy route and end up being predictable. I can say that there were some revelations that I did not expect, and some which were pretty obvious to me. However, that didn’t really impact my overall rating for this book as I do enjoy predicting the twists sometimes. 

The characters could have been written better, I think they all lacked dimension and depth, and as a result I didn’t feel for any of them nor did I really connect with any of them. The tension and pace was quite good, I was eager to read this book and for a moment I didn’t want to put it down. However, the tension and suspense wasn’t maintained throughout the book which was a bit disappointing. That being said I would still class this as a good thriller. It had all the elements that you would need in a good thriller; a solid plot, the suspicious characters, missing person, multiple POVs and a good amount of suspense. 

I am quite excited to read more from Lisa Jewell. 

3 stars.
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In invisible girl, we have a 30+-year-old virgin, who loses his job due to claims of sexual misconduct. Reading up on incel in his newly found free time doesn’t help when a case of a missing teen literally lands in his yard. Then, there is the Fours family. They live across the street from Owen. They have always been suspicious of their neighbour from across the way. Finally, there is Saffyre. She is a former patient of Mr Fours and develops an obsession with watching him. Then, Saffyre disappears. All of the storylines will tie together, but how?

This is a well-written novel, with a good pace, a solid storyline, it’s very thought-provoking and keeps your interest throughout. There is tension, suspense, shocks and plenty of twists. The book definitely takes you into uncomfortable areas but does so for valid reasons. 

The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.

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Oh I really enjoyed this book! It’s written so well. You just don’t know who is good or who is bad or if its that simple. The girl in question is really well written and the parents and community and other drawn into the drama, are believable and compelling. Had me hooked!! If you like tense, twisty, thrillers, this is a book for you!
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This was a good read that got better as it went along. 
We meet a variety of characters, all with their own secrets and lives.
Gradually their stories entwine and there are some great twists along the way.
Very enjoyable and won’t be the last I read from this author.
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Don't let my rating influence your reading.

A teenager goes missing and there are a few suspects. 
This is a well-written mystery but not for me.   I struggled to like the characters but nothing.
Thank you Netgalley for this Arc.
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Another great book by this author that has you hooked from the first pages.   The plot is fast and full of twists and turns, so that you are constantly reviewing your own thoughts and theories,  and plenty of great characters.  Definitely recommended
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Another thrilling read from Lisa Jewell. Intricately plotted with multiple strands to the story and a well rounded cast of characters which completely sucked me in. I can't help thinking that this read is particularly important after the recent shooting in Plymouth. I loved it - one I will definitely buy and re-read.
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Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

A great domestic thriller, with characters you initially don't want to meet, but when you don't you don't want them to leave!

NO SPOILERS, but my advice is to find somewhere comfy, grabs some snacks and drinks as once you start reading this, you won't want to put it down until the very last page.
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Lisa Jewell, Invisible Girl Random House UK, Cornerstone Century, 2021

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with this uncorrected proof for review. 

Once Lisa Jewell again presents us with social commentary, a host of characters who ring true, a story line that is feasible, and an engaging style which develops what initially appear to be everyday domestic vignettes into devastating forces with elements of a thriller. 

The prologue is set on Valentine’s Night, at one minute to midnight. The characters are a red headed girl, a character in a hoodie, and a man. The person in the hoodie goes towards the two other figures, accepting the risk which is a likely outcome of the interactions. 

Saffyre Maddox is seventeen, Welsh with Trinidadian, Malaysian and French from her mother. Her mother and grandmother died soon after her birth, her father left them, and her grandfather has died recently. Saffyre now lives with her young uncle, Aaron, in a high rise flat.. She is ‘university material’, but sometimes thinks of a different type of career. Having grown up with two men, she feels that she is not particularly good with girls, better with boys, but recognising that her age and prettiness leaves her vulnerable to change – perhaps she should try to find some female friends as well? 

 Saffyre tells us that she has a dark past has dark thoughts and does dark things. Despite this warning, she becomes a character who is lovable, with whom one wants to engage, a young woman for whom we hope it all turns out well. She tells us that something dreadful happened to her when she was ten, and she has needed counselling after her self-harming is detected by Aaron. He sends her to Roan Fours, who will become a familiar character, through his family, and interactions with Saffyre. 

Roan, Cate, Georgia, and Josh are living in an apartment, while their own home in a less salubrious area is renovated. The family thought that living ‘posh’ in Hampstead would be fun.  The change to a leafy quiet suburb from their lively life in Kilburn is different from their expectations. Fear about a neighbour, news of rapes on Hampstead Heath, an apartment block with abandonment lingering around it in the most graphic form of an old armchair in the drive, an empty block of overgrown grounds with a paling fence and the barks of foxes suggests that the new lifestyle has its shortcomings. Then, Georgia’s friend, Tilly, is assaulted as she leaves their flat one evening – or is she?

This novel is thick with character development. The complexities of being part of a family; an individual, whether teenager or adult; part of a community, work or school environment; and dealing with past and current trauma and challenges are drawn upon as the story moves forward. People who begin on the periphery of others’ lives are embraced by the story lines through what initially appear to be tenuous links. Assumptions about people who behave differently are questioned through subtle characterisation and meandering thoughts, sometimes leading to questionable behaviour. Assumptions about family are also laid bare as teenagers eat disparate meals; interact abrasively with parents, demand freedom from parental oversight, but phone tearfully when afraid. Adults feel guilt; demand responses from inarticulate or uncompromising teenagers and spouses; immerse themselves in work, or domestic tasks as diverse as cooking or returning unsuitable online purchases; and behave inappropriately or even unlawfully. The police become a presence, and a source of discomfit.  

Lisa Jewell has no need for convoluted twists or startling outcomes. Her characters and their plot lines move forward seamlessly, providing well documented (although often unrecognised in the reader’s eagerness to find out more) reasons for behaviours and consequences. At times heartrending, at others using events and attitudes to sharply inform, and always leaving a desire to know more and to engage more fully with characters such as Saffyre, Lisa Jewell’s work is not to be missed. With its clever blend of social commentary, complex characters, thriller qualities in its drawing together skeins of events to a satisfactory conclusion, leaving an unwoven thread to exercise the mind, Invisible Girl is another winner for me.
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Lisa Jewell is a favourite author of mines so I was super excited about this one and it did not disappoint. This book quickly became one of my favourites of 2020.
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There are just so many people in this book not to trust. They're creepy and suspicious.  Theres alot going on in the book and I found I really had to pay attention to try and work out who the real villan of the story was. I was suprised. 

This book felt real, grimy and gritty making it a perfect exploration of family drama, sectrets and lies.
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