Reviewed on 12th December 2018

The Proposal by SE Lynes

Genre: Fiction / Psychological Thriller / Suspense / Thriller
The Proposal by SE Lynes Synopsis

The first thing you should know, dear reader, is that I am dead…
Teacher Pippa wants a second chance. Recently divorced and unhappy at work, she uproots her life and moves to the countryside, determined to make a fresh start. But Pippa soon realises: your troubles are never far behind.
When Pippa meets blue-eyed Ryan Marks, he is funny and charming. He is haunted by his past – but insists he is a changed man.
He might just be the answer to all of her problems. And Pippa can tell the truth from lies. She’d know if she were in danger. Wouldn’t she?

The Proposal by SE Lynes Review

A Chilling Love Story Wrapped Up in a Sinister Thriller

SE Lynes is a master of her craft. Of that, there can be no doubt. The Proposal is her fourth psychological thriller to hit the charts, and I can only say that with each book I read, I wonder how she can possibly top the last. But yet again Lynes has managed just that.

About the Book:
Teacher Pippa wants a second chance. Recently divorced, unhappy at work and desperate to find a gripping plot for her next bestseller, Pippa invites an ex-con into her home one dark night in the hope that his story might spark a touch of inspiration. Ryan Marks is funny, charming and although clearly haunted, he can’t be that dangerous, can he?

There is no denying that in the last few years, the publishing industry has seen a surge of thrillers hitting the bookshelves. Readers can’t seem to get enough of the twisty-turny escapist reads. But, there is something to be said for the statement ‘too much of a good thing’ and it seems that while some authors are able to truly make a mark within the genre, many find themselves falling foul of ‘another gripping page-turner’ that doesn’t grip me at all.

SE Lynes is certainly not one of those authors. There are a few writers (only a few) who have seen the upsurge in thrillers and instead of writing what is working currently, they are pushing the boundaries and raising the bar for others. The Proposal does exactly that.

“The first thing you should know, dear reader, is that I’m dead” – If that isn’t a first line that begs you to read the book, I don’t know what is!

Although I can’t say too much (for fear of spilling spoilers haphazardly across the page), what I can say is that this is a thriller that had me shouting at the pages as Pippa naively traipsed through her romantically driven world in the most dangerous and threatening way.

The Proposal explores depths of our human subconscious that most of us deny. Many would question why Pippa would invite her guest into her life in the first place; in fact, many would continue to ask that very question until the very last page. It’s exactly this question that makes the book relatable. The truth is, there are too many of us around the world that would do the same thing in a similar situation. Wait until you have read the book and then ask yourself honestly, would you have let him in?

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In truth, our human needs and desires to find love despite the red flags, or success at any cost, would lead us down a similar path.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, in fact, there were many moments throughout the novel where I laughed out loud. Pippa’s narration, be it through dialogue, blog posts or voice memos, was at times truly endearing despite her frustrating naivety.

Having read all three of her previous novels, I was expecting intricately drawn characters, a real sense of place and setting and above all twists that I actually couldn’t predict. The Proposal takes it that step further. Somehow, SE Lynes has created what can only be described as a chilling love story wrapped up in a sinister thriller that draws your breath from the very first line and doesn’t let you go until the very last. Pippa is both endearing but infuriation, Ryan is charismatic but sinister. With such complex characters, it is easy to feel like you are being led on a rollercoaster of emotions. Nothing less than I deserve from this talented author!

As with most reviews, it is frustrating to talk about such an incredibly well-written book and not share exactly why you loved it, but the ending… the ending is why I loved it. The sheer ‘what the …’ moment. Despite having read the first line, knowing exactly what was coming, I was still left utterly blindsided by the final few chapters.

So, because I can’t tell you what happens, the only thing that remains left to be said is… read the damn book! All the way to the end! Then come back and tell me that I am wrong for stating that this book will sit firmly at the top of every thriller readers Top 5 Reads of 2018.

Well done SE Lynes. You have managed to take a genre that may be struggling under the weight of ‘just another Girl on the Train’ and elevated expectations for Thriller readers across the globe.

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