Friday, March 4, 2016

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

Lisa Lutz has a new book out! Lisa Lutz has a new book out! Lisa Lutz has a new book out!

Can you tell I'm excited?

Tanya's husband is dead. He fell down the stairs. But the very thought that she could become the focus of an investigation prompts Tanya to hit the road, knowing that in the end it will only make her look guilty. 

See Tanya's been on the run for some time already. In fact, "Tanya" isn't even her real name. And it probably won't take that long for the police to connect Tanya to the girl she used to be, uncovering the secret she's been living with all these years. It's up to her to make sure she stays one step ahead and doesn't get caught. 

While The Passenger is definitely a far cry from the hilarious Spellman mysteries, it's still yet another example of Lutz's fabulous talent.

Tanya may seem heartless in the beginning. She's obviously married to a man she doesn't love and she doesn't mourn his death but for the fact that it means the loss of the life she's been living. A life concocted after some terrible event forced her to leave her own behind. And this loss means not only creating a new life and new persona in a new place, it means a total loss of security for Tanya as well.

At one point another character tells her she's only a shell and it's true. She's spent so much of her adult life trying to be anyone other than the person she actually is that to the average viewer she's blank. Inside (the pieces that the readers get to see) she's much more, but outside she has to be ready at a moment's notice to adopt new characteristics and adapt to a new identity making each subsequent one more and more thin and transparent.

It does take some time for us to learn exactly why Tanya is running, why she feels the need to hide, and even why she married this man. With each new piece of the mystery revealed, I warmed to Tanya a bit more. It does become clear, as her race to escape authorities becomes more desperate, that Lutz maintains "Tanya's" true nature through her interactions with the people she comes into contact with. Attempted avoidance aside, her actions speak to something deeper than the names she adopts and the traits she imagines and tries on for each one.

The Passenger is an intense read, one you'll likely want to gobble up in one sitting if you can. I did! This is more than a one-sitting read, actually, it's a lock the doors, bar the windows, and ignore everything else you have on your plate kind of read. And given that I'd meant to have this up yesterday but am late (sorry), it segues nicely into the topic of slump busting in today's other post.

Yep, Lisa Lutz - anything Lisa Lutz - is another of my handful of guaranteed slump busting reads. If you happen to be heading into one yourself or are just looking for something fabulous and fast paced to dive into, I can't recommend The Passenger highly enough. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!

Rating: 5/5

3 comments:

Kay said...

I can see that I'm going to have to pick this one up. So interesting that it breaks away from her usual humor and inserts us into a thriller of sorts. Lovely to know it's a good slump buster. Always a plus. :-)

Jennifer | Book Den said...

Ooh, I've been wondering about this one. Sounds like it's a winner.

Personal Injury Law Office of Oklahoma City said...

Clearly, the author has a keen understanding of the difficulties a woman would encounter trying to escape an abusive situation in our hyper-security-focused era where ID is everything, and all electronic communications are vulnerable. I also deeply enjoyed the description of “Debra’s” stint as an innovative teacher without credentials in the private school; that was a delightful sideline and brilliantly developed.