I Don’t Forgive You presents us with Allie Ross, a professional photographer, mother, and new resident of an exclusive D.C. suburb. Her life seems to be falling into place, but her past is waiting for her. Allie is so ashamed of her past, of events that transpired while she attened a private high school, she has not even told her husband, so when someone calls her a name she only used for a very short time at that school and when a shirt from that school shows up among her child’s clothes, she thinks someone is coming after her.
And are they ever! A local man is murdered the night after he called her a tease and accosted her at a party and there is a trail leading right to her door.. And still she does not tell her husband. He recommends a lawyer and she dilly-dallies. Even after meeting with the lawyer, she goes on her own to the police to file a complaint about false identities being used on social media.
There is a lot to like about I Don’t Forgive You. The suspense is real and I wanted to know who was persecuting her. Was it her former high school teacher, her sister-in-law, her former best friend, or some other neighbor? There was plenty to wonder about, but it was ruined by how completely stupid Allie was.
So, I get that people are reluctant to speak about past trauma. It’s certainly horrible that the victim of a predator carried the blame for so many years. But, when you’re husband thinks you are either unfaithful, an alcoholic, or losing your mind, you come clean. For your child’s sake, if you are a murder suspect, you tell the truth to your husband and your lawyer. You don’t risk losing your child and your liberty out of embarrassment, especially since the most damning element, a nude photo, has already been made public.
My frustration with Allie, the ability to know that her confidential work would be posted, her absolute stupidity made me angry. Seriously, the bad guy would have won the day if winning depended on her own actions other than one fortuitous move near the end, and that involved instinct, not intellect. It was the oh-so-tired ending of all spy films where the evil genius recounts all the steps of the plot before killing the spy but then is thwarted by some move or another.
It does say quite a lot about Aggie Blum Thompson’s writing skills that I remained in suspense and involved to the end of a book that irritated me so much.
I received an e-galley of I Don’t Forgive You from the publisher through NetGalley.