Lucy gets the same bus every day.
She hopes to get a seat to herself, tries to avoid eye contact, and, if she’s really lucky, reads a chapter of her book.
But it’s a Friday – and the bus is always crammed at the end of the week. Personal space doesn’t exist. She keeps her elbows close and clings to a pole at every juddering stop.
When she gets off, something feels different.
An envelope stuffed with thousands of pounds is in her bag.
Is it the answer to her prayers, or the beginning of a nightmare?
Because, in the end, everything has a price.
*I was sent a free kindle edition copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley*
A Face in the Crowd is a thriller I couldn’t put down and I can honestly say I enjoyed each twist and turn. It’s a story where there is so much going on but it all fits together – some aspects of the story are hard to believe but at the end of the day this is fiction and I like when it’s unpredictable and a bit far from reality at times.
In this novel, Wilkinson has written a protagonist who I feel many people will empathise with and learn something from. Lucy is a woman who has been dealt an unfortunate hand in life and finds herself down on her luck and struggling financially. After a tragedy which claims the life of her fiance and the resulting grief, as well as a string of secrets, Lucy resigns herself to working non stop and trying to find her way to a better life. So when an envelope with thousands of pounds ends up in her bag she can’t believe it. She finds herself wondering whether she should use it or try and find its rightful owner, then she starts receiving unsettling calls…
The novel poses an interesting question to both Lucy and a reader; if all this money just landed in your lap and you were in desperate need, would you use it or would you report it missing? I think it would be a hard moral or ethical question for anyone to deal with. I feel like the way Lucy deals with it is realistic and makes sense. You can understand her being torn up as she needs it so badly but still has reservations.
As well as the moral and thriller aspect of the novel, there’s also such a moving portrayal of Lucys financial struggles. Her situation is so dire that she has to ration her food and sometimes even go without in order to feed her beloved dog Billy. It was heartbreaking to read how isolated Lucy feels and how much she has to struggle but at the same time, she does have friends in her building and her life isn’t all bad. I feel like this is another nuanced point which Wilkinson explores and also mentions in his authors note at the end of the story.
Overall, A Face in the Crowd was an interesting, unique and well written thriller which has an emotional impact. I have yet to read any of Wilkinsons other novels but after reading this one, I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of his work.
★★★★ – 4 Star Rating
Until next time,