Title: Accidents Happen
Author: Louise Millar
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Emily Bestler Books
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Kate Parker believes that she is a person marked for unhappiness and tragedy. Her parents died in a car accident when she was young and her beloved husband was murdered in a home invasion. Now, Kate is always looking over her shoulder, convinced that she and her son are next. But when her husband’s family threatens to take away her child because of her erratic, paranoid behavior, Kate is determined to somehow put her life back together. But what if there actually is someone out to get Kate?
A slow-moving, yet gripping, psychological thriller, Accidents Happen takes a close look at what happens when paranoia turns out to be a heightened awareness of the truth. Though sometimes it can be unbelievable, it’s a well written novel with a main character readers will sympathize with.
Accidents Happen is a disturbing tale of what happens when everyone is actually out to get you. Kate Parker hasn’t lived a normal life since her husband’s death. Everyone around her thinks she’s crazy, that she needs professional help, including Kate. Indeed, it’s hard to not agree after seeing Kate’s obsession with numbers and statistics—though knowing the odds of death and destruction calm her down, it’s clearly not a healthy thing to fixate upon. That is, until the reader learns the creepy truth, that someone is watching Kate, and that all her statistics and numbers might not be able to save her.
Readers will absolutely be able to sympathize with Kate in Accidents Happen. She’s an easy main character to like, as Millar puts Kate’s feelings out there for the world to see. Feeling her fear makes it easy to understand Kate’s obsession with security and safety. However, her healing happens a little too quickly to be believable. It seems that her transformation is instantaneous, and considering how crippled she was by her fears, it’s hard to really believe she overcame them that quickly. Still, Kate’s a great character, so it’s nice to see her gradually letting go of her issues.
At the same time, though, it’s difficult because the reader knows that Kate actually does have something to worry about. She lets her guard down over the course of the novel, which should be what’s healthy, but it makes the reader afraid she won’t be able to cope when she discovers that she was correct all along. This tension, along with the suspense of what will happen to Kate, is the driving force of the novel, keeping the reader guessing from beginning to end.
The ending of Accidents Happen is explosive and gripping, though the end revelations aren’t quite believable. Still, this book is enjoyable, and fans of psychological thrillers will appreciate Millar’s unique story and talent at character building.