Book Review: The Second Life Of Amy Archer by R.S. Pateman

"Best way to get over losing someone is other people. The right people. Not to take their place, but to remind you what living feels like.”

-- R.S. Pateman, The Second Life Of Amy Archer

For lovers of S.J. Watson and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, a taut, riveting psychological thriller book. A compelling and well-written story that you will find difficult to put down. A moving and shocking read that will undoubtedly advance the abilities of RS Pateman.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

On 31st December 1999, ten-year-old Amy Archer went missing from her local playground. Her body was never found and the lives of her parents, Beth and Brian, were torn apart.

On the tenth anniversary of the disappearance, Beth is alone, still struggling with the enormity of her grief and the horror of not knowing the fate of her only child. But the fear and confusion have only just begun, and Beth's world is turned upside down when a stranger knocks on her door, claiming to know what happened to Amy.

Beth is introduced to a little girl who is the uncanny double of her missing daughter, who knows things that only Amy would remember; the name of her favourite toy, the place where she scratched her initials, what Beth likes for breakfast. But this can't be Amy, she hasn't aged a day...

Now Beth is forced to question everything she has ever believed in, and push her faith and her sanity to the limits, if she is to find out the truth about what happened to Amy.

My reaction to this novel...

Actually, I'm not sure how long ago I purchased this book. I frequently forget to read it, but I came across it the last time I went through my entire library. Despite the fact that I was unfamiliar with the author, I began to read it before my forgetfulness struck again. I'm excited about this book since I read on Google that if you loved Gone Girl, you should read it. Because I like that novel, I felt driven to read this one as well.

As soon as the first chapter began, I was engrossed in the story's flow, especially when the author discussed reincarnation. It was really intriguing even though I had read something like this before. I felt anxious at times while reading this, but the author will leave you hanging as the plot progresses, leaving you wanting more. I had a number of fantastic situations in my head that would improve the storyline. I became frustrated with it and skipped several chapters in an attempt to grasp the core of the story, which the author failed to express.

The novel has a good premise, but it needed a little more work to succeed. I struggled to connect with the main character, Beth. She was uneasy, and her actions were forced and fabricated. As the novel progressed, her anxiety and indecision irritated me. Every few paragraphs, she seemed to change her mind about the premonition or whether her young child had been reincarnated. Her scenes eventually became a little too loud for me, and I started getting headaches.

Nothing irritates me more than an uncertain ending, and the ending was abrupt. I expect a fully developed, satisfying conclusion after putting in the time and effort to read a book. Although the author may feel that the reader would be left with profound, lingering thoughts, all I can think of is a lazy author who gave up on effectively closing the work. I also got the impression that the author couldn't think of a suitable way to end his story. I am unable to recommend it to other readers because it was so unsatisfying.

My Overall Rating: ⭐✨(1.5/5)


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