One ordinary Saturday morning, Rick nipped to the shop for a newspaper but never came back home. Four months later, his wife Gina and daughter Hannah are still trying to come to terms with his sudden disappearance. Gina receives a phone call from a fancy hotel explaining that Rick booked a romantic week away before he vanished. She can’t help but feel like the hotel is connected to Rick somehow, and her week of relaxation turns into something much more sinister.
In Too Deep begins with Rick’s walk to the shop on that fateful morning, and we learn he’s being pursued by someone – someone he knows. This little taster into Rick’s disappearance is enough to keep us hooked on the mystery, but sadly it eventually fizzles out.
In a feeble attempt to relax and let go of some stress, Hannah and Gina decide to go on the hotel break Rick has booked. However, as soon as they arrive, they’re certain something dodgy is going on. Susan, the hotel owner, is a little too friendly and over-familiar, and creepy things keep happening during the stay. Susan is calm and collected on the surface, but Gina has a gut feeling there’s a darker side to her. As Gina gets to know Susan and the hotel better, she makes some unsettling connections to past events.
We’re given both Gina’s and Hannah’s points of view, showing us that they’re not being totally honest with each other. This suspense is exciting for a while, but some of the secretive behaviour becomes too obvious and gives the game away part way through the book. Having said that, Gina’s character is compelling to read, as her long and painful ordeal is easy to connect with.
Although it’s sufficiently thrilling in places, In Too Deep is hit-or-miss and ultimately doesn’t deliver.
In Too Deep was published by Century on 5 May 2016.