Book Review: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

3 out of 5 stars

Summary: Tanya Dubois finds her husband deceased at the bottom of a staircase in their home. She fears that if she stays she will become a suspect in his death. For the second time in her life Tanya finds herself in the position of needing a new identity. Tanya reaches out to a man who helps her get a new identity, the first of many that Tanya tries on. Along the way Tanya meets Blue, a bartender, and kindred spirit. They quickly realize that they are both running from their pasts. The girls join forces to try to establish new identities and start over. Once the two women find new identities they part ways but it is not long before their paths cross again.  What terrible thing has Tanya done that has made her run for 10 years, will she be able to escape it?

Review: “The Passenger” was a fun quick thrilling read. It’s easy to get caught up in the crazy ride that is Tanya’s life. The main character changes names and identities numerous times but for the sake of this review I will be referring to her as Tanya. There are a lot of plot twists and questions about Tanya’s past. The whole time you are reading you are dying to know what has happened. There is a nice balance of past and future, the snippets into the past (in the form of emails) allows the reader to see that there is a lot more going on than expected. The emails work wonderfully to pull the readers in and to make them want to know more about Tanya. After a while the story got stuck into a pattern – Tanya steals an ID, changes her hair color, finds a hotel, goes to a bar, orders a drink, goes to sleep, wakes up and does it all over again. What made those stagnant moments better are the moments where she finally starts to settle in to an identity and life. I personally enjoyed when Tanya became a teacher and started to form personal relationships with her students, colleagues and the owner of the local bar, these moments humanize her. It’s hard to declare whether Tanya is a likeable character or not because she changes identities so often and along with a new identity comes a new personality. I  never really felt bad for Tanya, she wasn’t a relatable character and her actions while on the run were not always the best. Once I finished the book I realized there were a lot of unanswered questions and plot holes (such as what did happen to the dead husband?!). The ending tried to nicely wrap the story up with a poetic justice bow but a lot of minor plot lines were dropped. This is not a probable tale, to enjoy it you need to be able to suspend disbelief. I would highly recommend this book to someone that is looking for a fast paced thrilling read that doesn’t require too much thinking.

*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from Netgalley

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