Book Review: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Summary:  From the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, Lisa Lutz’s latest blistering thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past: you’ll want to buckle up for the ride!

In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

In February, I received an email about this book by someone at the publishing house & I put it at the top of my TBR pile for March. It sounded like something I'd enjoy. I didn't even bother seeking an ARC, I just bought it. And yes, I'm still falling for the "If you enjoyed The Girl On The Train & Luckiest Girl Alive..." thing (even when they're, for me, not quite hitting the mark former, I still think they're not bad books). Such is the case here with The Passenger.

I still have no idea who our protagonist, She-of-Many-Names, really is and not just because of all the identities she briefly inhabits before sloughing them off like reptile skin. For all the time with her, there's no time to delve deeply into who she actually is. The last lines of the book threw in a kiss off that has me wondering what's next and whether or not the craziness is over or this was just the first act. There's certainly enough left open-ended, not just with the main character and various plot threads (how exactly did that exoneration about Frank's demise happen? & will there be any reckoning or inquiry over the trail of bodies?) but also with our main secondary character, Blue. Truly, chaos can jump off all over again.

Speaking of Blue, who may be my favorite character here. For all the things we accompany She-of-Many-Names through, there's this feeling that Blue's having the more interesting story off-screen. She gave me major Alice "meep meep" Morgan (Luther) feels.

                                 photo alice2.gif

She parachuted back into the story and helped close it off more satisfying than if she hadn't been there. I was glad because I'd already figured out what was going on & had a case of the "mehs" over it so Blue's interjection saved me there. Her final words in the story are screaming for a second book because if you can't believe much else about Blue, she is the kind of crazy moth that is captivated by She-of-Many-Names's flame, which may or may not be to the latter's ultimate detriment. I'd read that story.

Overall, this was a fast paced and easy read. I'd recommend it. It's definitely not TGOTT but it's time well spent. This was my first read of Lisa Lutz but it won't be my last, especially if she offers another look in at these two characters.

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