Book review: The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

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A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

Before requesting this book on NetGalley, I read the comparisons with Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I liked the both books, so decided to give it a try. The story captivated me and I couldn’t leave it until finishing it. But Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train weren’t on my mind.

The main character, Leah, is living a life of a fugitive. Always hiding, always running, always leaving the place. Fourteen years ago something happened and she has been running since then. She has a boring (but safe) job at a library, she surrounds herself at home with lots of books. It doesn’t sound boring for a bookworm like me, but Leah is hiding. She avoids contact with people, doesn’t go to parties, doesn’t invite people at her home, doesn’t have friends at all. She stiffs at every sound, runs from every shadow. She is scared.

One evening, Leah meets Julian on a dating website. He seems normal and understanding person, not a freak like some who hang on dating websites. He seems different, like someone who might understand her, someone who might love her. But then, shadows from the past arise. Mysterious emails, mysterious phone calls, strangers bumping into her on streets. The past is back!

But there is also Ben, a guy who often comes to the library. A guy who has a girlfriend, but unselfishly offers nothing more than friendship. And Leah decides to trust him, to let one friend in her life after so many years. But the past is lurking from the shadows, not letting Leah to live again.

Who is after her?

Who is she running from?

Is she a victim?

Is she the one who is hunted or is she the hunter?

Can she escape her past?

Page after page, Leah’s story is revealed. But it was hard for me to decipher her fear. Two things had happened fourteen years ago. Now, she is running from what she has done or from what she hasn’t done? What is she feeling guilty for? She has spent last fourteen years in solitude to hide from someone or to punish herself? As the story continues, Leah reminds me more and more of Dostoyevsky’s character Raskolnikov from „Crime and Punishment“. If I have to describe this book in simply one sentence, it would be „a modern version of „Crime and Punishment“. Because, Leah is just like Raskolnikov, surrounds herself and her guilt with loneliness and fear.

Overall, I liked the story. Has many turn-overs and is not predictable at all. There aren’t many characters, just a few and all of them are surrounded with mystery. The story keeps you wondering till the last page and will leave you wondering even after that. You won’t be able to put it down until you find out why Leah is a girl with no past!

My opinion; 3,5 / 5.

You can buy the book HERE

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