Review: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

Quick review for a moderately quick read. I had a copy of the ARC as provided by NetGalley, but I also purchased the book from Audible, which was beautifully performed by Madeleline Maby. What the heck do I say about this book? I'll admit it still left me with questions, but I was thoroughly engaged and wanting to see what happened through the whole of this entire read. I honestly didn't want to put the book down.

First it comes across as the story of a woman who finds her husband dead at the base of stairs. Considering she's hiding in a secret identity already and she can't explain his death, she goes on the run...again. Ends up at a bar, finds a woman ("Blue") who sees through her disguise, and the two end up being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone ends up dead, again. (Okay, maybe more than a few end up kicking the bucket, but work with me.) Then, our heroine ends up switching identities with "Blue", but circumstances are not so easy as what's handed our heroine. In fact, it makes things more complicated. (But seriously, how do these ladies just disappear without someone thinking "Wait...")

The more I think about how this book's overarching relationship ties to its respective title, the more brilliant I think "The Passenger" came across. You have a woman whose circumstances are defined by how much she's in the shotgun role for everything - from how her identities are handled to what made her run in the first place, and it ties in a circle with the ending's events. You would think that this would make her a passive character, but it really doesn't. I couldn't help but feel like she'd been handed a bad deal in places. Our nameless heroine really tries to make a life for herself and stay on the run from her past, but she really doesn't catch a break as she tries to do what she thinks is the right thing for the life she's trying to assume ( much as circumstances would allow, but she does so many things so, so wrong.) I'll admit I actually was able to care about her plight and that surprised me even if I still found myself with lingering, even important questions with how the pieces fit together for the narrative. Some I wished were a little more vetted out and given just a bit more edge to round out the story. But I liked it, and I really liked the audiobook narration because I felt Maby's voice fit the heroine very well.

It was definitely quite a ride, and if you like stories with a flawed (complicated) heroine, a bit of mystery and twisted sense of justice, this might be one to check into.

Overall score: 4.5/5 stars

Note: I received this as a galley from NetGalley on behalf of the publisher, but I also bought the audio version from Audible.