BLURB: “When Chris wakes up in hospital, Emily is the first person he asks for. She is the love of his life. But Emily is dead, and Chris is the sole witness to what happened in the park that night. He claims it was a suicide pact: they were both meant to die. Then the investigation turns up motive for murder, and there is only one suspect…”
REVIEW: Besides the fact that I’m a huge fan of Picoult already (which I would be amazed if none of you had noticed!), the Romeo-and-Juliet-esque aspect of this story really appealed to me, and I was greatly looking forward to reading it. The novel focuses on two neighbouring families, the Hartes and Golds, who have always been great friends and whose children, Chris and Emily – born only six months apart – develops a close bond that results in them becoming lovers. One night, however, the two families receive phone calls from the hospital, and when they arrive they discover that Chris is badly injured and Emily is dead, in what Chris claims was a double suicide gone wrong. As the police uncover more about Chris and Emily’s relationship, however, alongside anomalies in the autopsy report, a strong case for Chris being the murderer of Emily begins to develop, which tears the two close-knit families apart. As Chris fights to prove his innocence in the modern day, with the help of charismatic lawyer Jordan McAfee, we learn more about the development of Chris and Emily’s relationship, and the problems they faced – particularly in regards to Emily’s fear of sex and unwillingness to be intimate with Chris – through flashbacks. These flashbacks make us more uncertain about whether or not Chris did deliberately orchestrate the murder of Emily, while in the modern day scenes we are more convinced of his innocence. As usual, Picoult presents us with a gripping conflict in whether or not we choose to believe Chris over what happened; when the events of the night of Emily’s death are finally revealed, the reader is presented with yet another conflict that remains in mind long after the book has finished; how far would you go to make the person you love happy?