Title: The Woman on the Pier
Author: B.P. Walter
Published on: 11 November 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thriller
Jessica’s parents thought she was in Somerset with her friend. But when the police arrive at their doorstep saying their daughter was one of the victims at the terror attack in Stratford, their lives fall apart. Jessica’s dad Alec is quite ‘famous’ – for sleeping with her friends’ mothers! Caroline, Jessica’s mother juggles between working as a screenwriter and being a ‘good mother.’
When Caroline finds Jessica’s chat messages three months after the terror attack, she decides to take revenge on the boy who was responsible for her only child’s untimely death. Michael Kelley and Jessica had befriended each other on Facebook. Jessica lied to her parents about going to Somerset. She was to meet Michael at Stratford station – the exact place where terrorists opened fire and killed innocent civilians.
I read B.P. Walter’s The Dinner Guest earlier this year and when I got a chance to read an Advance Review Copy of the author’s The Woman on the Pier, I kept my expectations high. I am disappointed by the way things turned out in this story.
Caroline, Alec and Jessica are almost normal family – well, Caroline and Alec have some issues which they have been swiping under the rug for a long time. Alec plays the ‘good parent’ while Caroline is left to deal with all the rules and ‘no, you cannot go out with friends after dark.’ When Jessica tells her mum she wants to spend the weekend in Somerset with her best friend, Caroline says what any other mother would -“Ask dad.” Alec agrees to Jessica going on the trip – makes Caroline seem like the bad guy.
The next morning, Jessica leaves for Somerset. Then, her parents hear of a terror attack at Stratford train station. Jessica does not reply to their messages nor receive their calls. Later that evening, the police visit their house, telling them of Jessica’s death. She was one of the victims at the Stratford terror attack.
Caroline and Alec’s relationship takes a turn for worse soon after their daughter’s death. Caroline is rude and nasty while Alec spends his time crying in the bathroom. Three months after the incident, Caroline finds messages on Jessica’s phone – she was in touch with a boy named Michael Kelley. She and Michael were supposed to meet at Stratford that day – but Michael failed to appear. Jessica waited for long time and was eventually killed when the terrorists opened fire on the civilians.
I thought the story was going to be about Jessica’s untimely death and Caroline’s revenge. But, a few chapters after the story began, I found Caroline to be annoying. She’s downright nasty to her husband – it’s not like she did not know about the extra martial affairs but now she finds fault with everything he does. She goes in search of Michael Kelley and when Alec panics, she tells him she’s off to Australia and if he follows her, she will make a scene at the airport. (Really?!!)
Halfway through the story, Caroline meets with an accident and has a memory loss. She doesn’t remember why she is here or who Michael is. She picks up a fight (once again) with Alec. She wants to stay and find out who Michael is or why he had messaged her. (Couldn’t she simply check Jessica’s phone and find out? Did we need all that unnecessary drama?) There’s also a “tangent” where Caroline buys a TV – a whole lot of deviation from the story for no reason! *rolls eyes*
Finally, there’s just one scene – like half a chapter or so – on the PIER! Here I was, thinking the whole story is going to be about some mystery behind the ‘possible’ dead body on the pier. Don’t get me started on the ending – bleh!
I found the story annoying and depressing. Michael’s brother has some serious psychological issues – self-inflicted wounds and stuff – which Caroline sees but does nothing about it. She just ignores it because she has memory issues. Wow!
Since I haven’t liked the book, I leave it up to the readers of this blog post to decide whether they want to give this book a try or not.
I received an ARC from One More Chapter and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.