If you fall in love with a character 2 pages after you meet him and then he is murdered and ripped away from you you get a fraction of the pain the poor protagonist is suffering from in this novel. Her best friend is murdered shortly after they shared their first kiss. Above all the heroine's mother is the one who is facing a trial for murdering him, she is schiznophrenic and doesn't deny having killed him.
The worst fear of Olivia is to have inherited the schizophrenia from her mother and although she is trying to fight it there are signs. She lost her ability to see colours, dropped out of art school because of it. And worst of all and yet best of all she keeps seeing Stern, her best friend and love, allegedly murdered by her own mother. She is torn between desperately wanting to see him and trying to hold on to reality. Soon she finds herself hunting for proof that her mother is innocent, Stern at her side.
The story is gripping, the protagonist's experiences aren't really that trustworthy, she seems on the edge of losing it, her encounters with a dead friend aren't making her seem more sane and yet there is some hope. Most of the time I had absolutely no idea where this story was heading. It was the first book of the author I read so I had no idea whether to actually expect ghosts or if a mental desease was more likely... And on top of that I desperately wanted Stern to be back.
The end/ solution comes a bit suddenly and a bit too easily for my taste, especially after the rest of the book seemed well layered and very unique to me.
I already ordered my next read of the author, I liked her style, the atmosphere and the characters. Most of all I loved the suspense, the total lack of knowing where things were heading.
This is a great read with just some minor flaws.
(A free digital copy of this book was given to me via NetGalley.)