Publisher: Atria Books
In this gripping follow-up to Love Lies Beneath, #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s “fabulous, sex-filled masterpiece of mystery and romance” (Library Journal, starred review), the honeymoon ends for Tara Lattimore when her husband’s ex-girlfriend is murdered, and she becomes a prime suspect.
Tara thought she was finally settling down when she married charming, handsome Dr. Cavin Lattimore, but life seems to be only getting more complicated. During the honeymoon, Tara’s niece Kayla moved into their Lake Tahoe home and quickly hooked up with Cavin’s manipulative, seductive son Eli. In a matter of weeks, Tara has gone from rich, single San Francisco professional to suburban housewife managing her niece’s emotional ups-and-downs, as well as her stepson’s continuing overt advances.
Adding to the family drama, Tara’s younger sister Melody is going through a serious marital breakdown. During a heated argument, her husband Graham insists he and Tara once had an affair. Despite Tara’s vehement denials, Melody is desperate to find the truth.
Enter Cavin’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend, Sophia, whose sudden relocation to Lake Tahoe is causing further shake-up. When Sophia is found murdered, police quickly narrow the list of suspects to Tara, Cavin, Eli, and Kayla. All four have motive. All four have lost themselves in a complicated web of lust, jealousy, and betrayal. But how far was one of them actually willing to go? Tara has always considered herself a tough, self-made woman, on her own since she was a teen after a childhood defined by poverty, abuse, and neglect. For years, she suffered the sins of others. But that doesn’t mean she never committed her own. Are the sins of the past about to catch up with her?
Much like the previous novel, Love Lies Beneath, A Sin Such as This is a slow paced mundane novel with an explosive ending. If you enjoyed the first novel, then you’ll definitely love its sequel.
This novel is truly Tara’s novel. Tara is forever calculating, manipulative, and intelligent individual. Tara’s manipulative qualities are so subtly written that the reader does not realize what’s happening until it’s blatantly obvious. This is a both a strength and a weakness of Hopkins’ writing style. The subtlety of Tara’s manipulation allows for an explosive climax, but leaves the rest of the novel lacking.
Throughout the mundane musings of Tara’s life, Hopkins’ sprinkles in some truly unsettling moments. Hopkins’ drops a few lines of dialogue that cleverly change the momentum of the scene and the dynamics of the relationships.
The biggest drawback of this novel is how boring and stagnant it is for large portions of the narrative. The reader is treated to tedious situations involving Tara’s injured knee, her rehab, doctor’s appointment, and fundraiser planning. It isn’t until the final two chapters that something exciting happens. Though, that something is a game changer it doesn’t completely make up for the lack of movement throughout the entire novel.
I wrestled for with my star rating for quite some time before settling on four stars. I chose four over three because Hopkins’ handle on her characters, writing style, and climax outweighed the slow moving plot.
Overall, A Sin Such as This is more of the same, so if you enjoyed the first novel then you’ll definitely love its sequel.
*** I was provided an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.