The Girl With A Clock For A Heart is a psychological thriller that is character driven, mainly by Liana Dector, who is a Femme Fatale type character in the book. Her victim in this case is George Foss, an ex-lover from their days in college.
The story moves based on the present and the past. In the present, George is helping Liana with a problem that she has with another ex-lover that she was involved with. The past is when George met Liana while they were going to school and the problems that developed between the two while they were dating.
The story moves along based on Liana, who is someone that you can’t trust. On the surface, she seems like a pleasant person but her actions towards George and other characters in the story make you wonder if she is telling the truth at any time in the story. This helps her in making her to be a very powerful and memorable character in the story.
George seems to want to go along with anything that Liana wants, even when it drives him into further trouble with other characters that he is meeting such as Jenks, who seemed like Ray Liotta. In fact, there is a reference to the movie Something Wild and how Liana feels about changing her personality in the story.
I liked the way the author brought the story about George and Liana’s days in college, especially with the music from the Grateful Dead. Then there were other characters that helped in seeing the type of character that Liana was as the story moved along. She drove the story because you never knew what was going to happen next.
If you’re a fan of Bruno Fischer like I am, there are great parallels in the story since he wrote several psychological thrillers with Femme Fatale characters such as So Wicked My Love and The Lady Kills. I would say that Liana character is more powerful in this story than Fischer’s story since those characters actions weren’t hidden in any way. You could say that that was the reason that Fischer’s stories were more predictable than Peter Swanson’s book.
As far as the ending goes, I could see that many people were unhappy with it. It was an open type ending that didn’t satisfy the reader since we hoped for a lot more since we invested time in reading the book. It’s not the first time I’ve seen endings like this one. One other author that comes to mind in leaving open endings like this would be Robert Ludlum.
To me, the story would be spoiled if the ending was unbelievable like it was in Gone Girl. Then again, I can think of an ending for The Girl With A Clock For A Heart that would be much worse than the way Peter Swanson ended his book.
Here would be my alternate ending that would want to make me throw the book against the wall. How would you feel if George woke up at the end of the story and you found out that all this was a dream? Or better yet, what if you thought that all this was in George’s head and none of this happened.
If you think about this, then there was a book that had this type of ending. That would be Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. I was very disappointed in the ending and a friend told me that he saw the movie without reading the book and was very angry about the ending as well. I would say that I have run into people who disagree with me on this.
So much for endings. I’m happy to give this book five stars and would read more books by Peter Swanson.