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Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing an e-Arc in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: March 1st, 2016

Synopsis: Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair Brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy-And dangerous-alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it…

Although The Passenger has some flaws, it’s a wild ride that is escapism at it’s best! 

I really liked Tanya despite her propensity for making truly awful decisions. She’s kind of a badass who has no problem defending herself, yet still comes across at being rather vulnerable. While the synopsis makes you think she’s some sort of professional chameleon-effortlessly changing identities from day to day-she’s not. She’s been betrayed and hurt and she’s desperate. At times she left me wondering what her true motivations were which made things even more interesting. The more she tries to run from her past, the more quickly it seems to be trying to catch up to her, until finally she decides she needs to go home and confront those who forced her to go on the run to begin with. There are other intriguing characters, particularly Blue–her temporary partner in crime who should really have her own story–and Dominic, her sort of love interest. But this is very much Tanya’s story and it’s told from her perspective which made me emphasize with her even more. The best part of the book is the mystery of who Tanya-Amelia-Debra-Jo, really is and what she is running from. The truth is ever so slowly revealed as the story unfolds. There are as many twists and turns in the plot as there are in Tanya’s crisscrossing the country which made it hard for me to tear myself away. There are some unrealistic moments such as her gaining 50 lbs in three weeks in order to change identities, and then losing the weight just as quickly. There’s also a few plot holes that are never filled, but the book is so fast-paced and exciting I found I didn’t mind these flaws as much as I ordinarily would. 

I’m a fan of Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files series, but The Passenger is a huge departure from those humorous and light-hearted mysteries. It’s a fun, edgy, and exciting read though, which I finished in two days. I hope she writes more books like this in the future.

 

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