fiction / mystery

Accidents Happen: A Novel by Louise Millar

accidents

I requested two Louise Millar books from the library and they came in on the same day so I ended up reading them back to back. I enjoyed The Hidden Girl so I was looking forward to Accidents Happen. I was disappointed. It is basically the story of a woman who is super anxious because of various tragedies in her life. Her husband was murdered by car thieves during a home invasion, her parents died in a car crash on her wedding night, her house is repeatedly broken into. Threatened by her in-laws regarding custody of her son, she tries to get herself together. Randomly she runs into a guy who does statistics about crime, plane crashes, car crashes etc, the same things she mentally calculates in her head as she goes about her day. He proposes an experiment to help her and she agrees even though the things he asks her to do are often illegal or odd. For example: un-tie someone’s dog from a lamp post and re-tie to a lamp post across the street, he sets her up to be chased by teenagers to show she can think on her feet and conquer her fear, he has her steal a small boat. Somehow all of these doesn’t raise any red flags and she goes along with it and ends up getting romantically involved with him. Of course.

That was unbelievable enough but then there is this whole other subplot where someone is repeatedly breaking into her house, eating her food, stealing her lotion (?), playing on her computer and spying on her. Yes, another Louise Millar book where someone, unbeknownst to the female homeowner, is living in/breaking in a house and eating food and stealing things! It made sense in The Hidden Girl but makes little sense here, even when they tie it all together and the guru Jago is exposed. I won’t even get into how ridiculous “Jago”‘s story of revenge was. Oy. Also, part of the book, from very early on, is from the perspective of the man who is breaking into her house via hole in the wall so we know that a lot of her fears are founded even if she doesn’t. This really takes away from the suspense. In The Hidden Girl, we only know things from the perspective of the husband and wife so when things go wrong with the townspeople it is much more surprising.

I’m glad I didn’t read this one first or I never would have read The Hidden Girl which I thought was a great summer read.

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