Her life is a pack of lies. But what if she is the liar?
Alison is more alone than she’s ever been. She is convinced that her ex-husband Jack is following her. She is certain she recognises the strange woman who keeps approaching her at work.
She knows she has a good reason to be afraid. But she can’t remember why.
Then the mention of one name brings a whole lifetime of memories rushing back in.
Alison feels like she’s losing her mind . . . but it could just lead her to the truth.
Firstly I have to say a massive thank you to the author Nikki Smith and Anne Cater for their patience. This review was supposed to go live on 9th April, but I had got behind in my reading. Thank you both for your support.
It is still unsual for me to find a thriller that feels different, that catches me unawares, that when I finish it, it leaves me feeling both surprised and unnerved. All In Her Head made me feel all of this and I sat back when I had finished and thought wow, now that is a thriller that left me feeling shacken and flustered.
It is a superb insight into a damaged mind, one that has turned in on itself, both to protect itself and hide from memories that could destroy a carefully construed life. The mind is a wonderful thing, capable pf protecting us from trauma and heartbreak, but in doing so it buries our real selves and Nikki Smith takes this and creates a story of incredible complexity. Multi layered and intricate she takes you the reader on a journey through a mind that is shattered and slowly, ever so deliberately, she deceives you, sending you down one way alleys, leaving you as confused as Alison. It feels good to be mislead and confused, because it means the writer has done her job, she has created moments of deception, that propel you forward through the story, until finally she decides it is time to reveal the truth. It slowly sank into my mind, that what I had been reading was a skilled take on a novel about lies, buried and forgotton, that once revealed, can either crush us or bring a sense of relief. I leave it to you, to decide which is the case in All In Her Head, but I promise it will be worth it.
Without great characterisation even a well conceived plot can fall flat, here in Alison and her husband Jack, we have a pair of perfectly damaged, fragile personalities that inhabit the story with a sense of unease. I found as a pair, they created the perfect balance. They are well rouneded and utterly believeable in the way they reacted to a life suddenly shattered. I believed in both their love for each other and their need discover the truth behind the events that envelope them. Alison is utterly perfect, I became lost in her story and the intricate layers of her search to reclaim the memories that seem just out of reach. As a character she wormed her way under my skin and I felt a need to see the journey with her, to the end, no matter what ending that was.
All In Her Head is a complex and exciting thriller and one that will envelope you in a story that tricks your heart and your mind.
About the author
Nikki studied English Literature at Birmingham University before pursuing a career in finance, working in a variety of different companies including an investment bank and a trampoline park. She always had a passion for writing and in 2017 she had a ‘now or never’ moment and applied for a Curtis Brown Creative 3 month writing course which she absolutely loved. Later that year she had a short story published in the Writer’s Forum Magazine, and submitted the opening chapters of her novel to a competition where she won the opportunity to be mentored by the author Amanda Reynolds. She lives near Guildford with her husband, two daughters and a very friendly Burmese cat called Saffi.