LOVE LIES BENEATH
by Ellen Hopkins
published July 21, 2015 by Atria (Simon & Schuster)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Collateral comes a gripping novel about a woman caught in a love affair that could be her salvation...or her undoing.
Tara is gorgeous, affluent, and forty. She lives in an impeccably restored Russian Hill mansion in San Francisco. Once a widow, twice divorced, she’s a woman with a past she prefers keeping to herself.
Enter Cavin Lattimore. He’s handsome, kind, charming, and the surgeon assigned to Tara following a ski accident in Lake Tahoe. In the weeks it takes her to recover, Cavin sweeps her off her feet and their relationship blossoms into something Tara had never imagined possible. But then she begins to notice some strange things: a van parked outside her home at odd times, a break-in, threatening text messages and emails. She also starts to notice cracks in Cavin’s seemingly perfect personality, like the suppressed rage his conniving teenage son brings out in him, and the discovery that Cavin hired a detective to investigate her immediately after they met.
Now on crutches and housebound, Tara finds herself dependent on the new man in her life—perhaps too much so. She’s handling rocky relationships with her sister and best friend, who are envious of her glamour and freedom; her prickly brother-in-law, who is intimidated by her wealth and power; and her estranged mother. However perfect Tara’s life appears, things are beginning to get messy.
Writing in beautiful prose, Ellen Hopkins unveils a new style while evoking her signature poetic form that readers fell in love with in Collateral and Triangles.
This is my first adult novel from Ellen Hopkins (I have Triangles on my shelf, too, but I haven't gotten to it yet). It is also her first novel ever written in prose. Those of you who have been with Hopkins as long as I have--back since good ol' Crank, a decade ago--were probably surprised by this development. I was, too, at first, but after reading Love Lies Beneath, it makes complete sense.
Tara is forty years old, smokin' hot, affluent, white . . . and privileged in most other ways you can think of. Basically, she's got everything going for her, until a ski accident at Lake Tahoe tears a bunch of stuff in her knee and renders her useless. Fortunately, her doctor is smokin' hot like she is.
I think you can see where this is going.
But that's where Hopkins gets you. Where the conventional romance goes is not where this novel goes. Even if you expect it. Even if you don't think anything else could possibly happen.
And you're kind of right. There is some romance, some wild sex, some of the stuff you expect. But after a certain point, Hopkins takes convention and throws it out the window. What results is an unexpected thrill ride, a tense, edgy build to an shocking ending that left me reeling.
In some ways, Love Lies Beneath is signature Hopkins: dark, suspenseful, and psychological. It also breaks new ground, as it's written in a new style, but it maintains Hopkins's beautifully poetic nature.
In other words: sign me up for Hopkins's next novel, because this only confirms how much I love her writing.