They say every marriage has its secrets. But no one sees what happens behind closed doors. And sometimes those doors should never be opened.... Sal and Charlie are married. They love each other. But they aren't happy. Sal cannot leave, no matter what Charlie does - no matter how much it hurts.
"Hall packs a punch with this one and the ending left me gasping." (For the Love of Books) "A gripping psychological thriller with a level of tension that will leave you breathless." (Tracy Book Lover) "It is disturbing and chilling. It feels very real. And a quick mention for that twist! I did not see that coming at all. I usually spot these things and I didn't! Clever! Very clever!" (Northern Crime Reviews)
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Within the first few minutes of listening to the well-narrated Between You and Me, the author makes these things very clear: 1) I am meant to know that Sal and Charlie's marriage is abusive- one partner suffers domestic violence at the other's hands; and 2) our androgynously-named partners are not "him" and "her" or "him and him" or "her and her"- they are, and shall remain, "Sal" and "Charlie." (Later, there will be an "Alex" inserted into the plot, but Alex will not be helpful, because Alex is also genderless).
I almost hit stop and delete. But I didn't. Because Lisa Hall has a way of writing simple, straightforward, punchy sentences that turn into thoughtful paragraphs that demonstrate exactly what is happening, let the reader feel the emotion, insert the pain and anger, or the triumph and the sense of such strong feeling for a character- that the reader moves with the story. You're just there. You are in the kitchen with Sal, you are in the office with Charlie. The story goes and moves and kills you and picks you up and makes you keep your wits about you because you need them, because you will experience some intense emotions from beginning to end. It is not maudlin, it is not overwrought, it is not a soap opera. You may think you know the twist, but you don't know all the twists.
The story is told from the points of view of Sal and Charlie back and forth throughout, in a contemporaneous manner that is very interesting to experience. There are some look-backs to show the history of the relationship, but no more than needed to demonstrate the points to the reader. Same as the rest of the book. The less-AS-more approach just really worked for me with this story.
In the end, I think Between You and Me was a great read. Certainly, suspense enough to satisfy, and psychologically a mindbender. This is a worthy, well-written book, and I recommend it.