Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.

He says his wife couldn't be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.

Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.

All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.

It's really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.


I read Downing's 'My Lovely Wife' last year and I won't lie, the book really weirded me out. It was all of the creepy and eerie that you could want from a thriller and the fact I felt so uncomfortable reading it at times shows how incredibly strong the writing is. So as soon as I saw that she had another release coming, I was curious to see if it would be as weird and creepy as the last book.

And it did not disappoint! I read it in 24 hours, I couldn't get enough! It is very different to 'My Lovely Wife' but still delivers on all of the key things a reader expects from a thriller. It's dark, creepy, disturbing but uncomfortably addiction at the same time.

The characters are super strong and very quickly you learn that Teddy Crutcher is the definition of a psycho. From page 1, the way he portrays himself and how he thinks is done so well and you only want to find out more and see what this character is really like. It reminded me of Christian Bale in American Psycho or Jack Nicholson in The Shining, characters that come across quite level headed and normal and then you see the scary things that go on in their heads. And then the other characters like Zach, Frank and Fallon, they also have their inner demons and you quickly see how this book perfectly illustrates how little we might know about those around us and what really goes on in their minds.

I think Downing mastered the psychological aspect of this and improved a lot since her other book. In the other book, the characters clearly acted out their insanity and it all very quickly unravelled. Whereas here, we are presented with an extremely intelligent but severely delusional and disturbed protagonist. The actions he takes and the thought process behind them are more subtle but extremely calculated and he genuinely thinks that he is doing for the good of others.

So yeah if you are into thrillers that get under your skin and hook you from page 1, then this is definitely worth a read. I wouldn't say it is the best book you'll ever read but it's far from the worst and I can't wait to see what Downing comes out with next!

A big thank you to Net Galley for letting me read this before it is published.






'If there is one thing a minister taught Frank, it's that not everyone can be saved.'


I really liked Zach actually, I thought he played his character really well.




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