It’s another happy and bookish day, and my feature is an ARC called Second Life, by S. J. Watson. I have heard mixed thoughts on this one, probably because of the phenomenal success of the author’s previous book, Before I Go to Sleep.
But I am ready to take a chance.
Intro: I climb the stairs but the door is closed. I hesitate outside it. Now I’m here, I don’t want to go in. I want to turn round, go home. Try again later.
But this is my last chance. The exhibition has been on for weeks and closes tomorrow. It’s now or never.
I close my eyes and breathe as deeply as I can. I concentrate on filling my lungs, I straighten my shoulders, I feel the tension in my body evaporate as I breathe out. I tell myself there’s nothing to be worried about, I come here regularly—to meet friends for lunch, to catch the latest exhibitions, to attend lectures. This time is no different. Nothing here can hurt me. It’s not a trap.
Finally I feel ready. I push open the door and go in.
Teaser: I sat in the garden for hours that day, my laptop humming in front of me. I was exploring the site, clicking on profiles, opening photographs. (p. 95).
Blurb: Julia’s life is comfortable, if unremarkable, until her sister’s brutal murder opens old wounds. She finds solace in her sister’s best friend, Sophie, but when Sophie reveals the extent of her sister’s online life, Julia becomes convinced that the truth about her death lies deep in the dark, sordid world of online chatrooms and internet sex.
What begins as Julia’s search for the truth about her sister quickly turns into an exploration of herself and her own desires. After all, the internet is her playground, and why be just one thing when you can be as many as you like? What could possibly go wrong? After all, it’s only cybersex, isn’t it? No one’s going to get hurt.
But then she meets the dark and mysterious Lukas in an online chat room, and things begin to get very dangerous indeed.
What do you think? Do the excerpts grab you? Make you want to know more?