Lisa Lutz writes a wonderful, funny mystery series featuring the irrepressible “Izzy” Spellman, that started with The Spellman Files. She has a unique voice so when I heard she wrote a standalone thriller, I was intrigued.
The Passenger is about Tanya Dubois, but that’s not her real name. Tanya has been on the lam for most of her adult life for reasons that aren’t made clear until the end of the book. But boy, did I get sucked into her story.
Tanya is definitely an odd duck but somehow also a sympathetic character. When we first meet her, her husband Frank has just died from a fall down the stairs. She takes off, not because she had anything to do with it, but because she doesn’t want to deal with the cops.
At another town with another name, she wanders into a bar and meets Blue, a pretty blonde bartender that immediately sees something is off about Tanya. Blue is also on the run and they become friends, for lack of a better word, until circumstances and a murder force them to part ways.
There are emails throughout the book between “Joe” & “Ryan” and we don’t really know who they are. Tanya wanders the country, changing her name, her hair, her job and her car until she finally goes home and all is resolved.
There have been several books out with unreliable narrators like Gone Girl, The Girl on a Train, and others, and I didn’t really care for them as the characters were just so unlikable. Lutz has taken that same premise but turned it on its head with a relatable yet still unreliable narrator.
This is a dark thrill ride and I enjoyed being the passenger.
4/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE PASSENGER by Lisa Lutz. Simon & Schuster (March 1, 2016). ISBN 978-1451686630. 320p.