Anne Buist: Dangerous To Know

dangerous-to-know-cover

I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers as part of their Legend100 Club in exchange for an honest review.

Natalie King is back: back from a stay on the psych ward. Her reluctance to live a quiet life has contributed to a severe depressive episode, and now its time for a retreat to the country, and a low-key research job at a provincial university nearby.

But Natalie and trouble have a strange mutual fascination. Her charismatic new boss Frank is friendly, even attractive. But it turns out his pregnant wife is an old enemy of Natalie’s. And when Frank’s tragic personal history is revealed – then reprised in the most shocking way – Natalie finds herself drawn deep into a mystery. And even deeper into danger.

Following on from Medea’s Curse, the first in the Natalie King series, Dangerous To Know continues on a few months from the previous novel with Natalie having fallen into a state of depression resulting in time spent at a psych ward. At the behest of her own psychiatrist, Natalie has moved away from her more bustling, wild life for a more quiet, and sensible life within the countryside moving from working in practice, to research. But, what Natalie was hoping would be a time to recover and gain back the confidence within herself, ends up in her becoming involved in a mystery and a crime all rolled into one.

After reading Medea’s Curse I all but jumped at the chance to read the next in Anne’s series. Spunky Natalie King is back again with an altogether toned down personality following her state of depression, settling for a quiet life doing research. The events of the first novel haven’t totally left us within Dangerous To Know, with Natalie still practicing psychiatry with one of her previous patients during the most crucial time of her life. Natalie believes that no longer being in the city will mean that she will not have to face those prior to her stay in the psych ward, by God she is sorely wrong!

Dangerous To Know is the perfect mystery, thriller as Natalie embarks upon new relationships, and steps back into those of old. The people that she meets all have some secret past with everyone’s lives someone being intertwined leaving you questioning everyone she encounters as well as their motives. Buist carefully feeds information throughout the novel through both Natalie’s own personal investigation due to her more personal relationship with Frank, as well as through Frank’s own ‘diary-like’ entries that recounts over similar scenes from a different perspective. It is Frank’s narrative that I feel gives more of an insight into who he is as a character; it is during these moments that we begin to understand his past, ambitions, his goals, as well as the personality that lies beneath the professional and confessional Frank that sits before Natalie. Frank as a character truly plays mind games with both the reader and Natalie, confessing that he wants to tell Natalie the truth or dropping hints about certain events or feelings only for us to hear nothing for many more chapters or until Natalie figures out the truth. This element was truly brilliant as it left me wanting to find out more and understand Frank’s motives behind befriending Natalie outside of their research unit.

As to be expected, Natalie still possesses her wild side, though more mellow than Medea’s Curse due to her experiences and the medication that she is currently taking. She still rides her motorbike at almost high speed, she still makes rash decisions, and she still sleeps around with men who she really shouldn’t. Having read over my original review for Medea’s Curse, I have realised that I have grown to like this side of Natalie King as it balances out the more professional side of her and her narrative when we are provided with concise explanations about disorders, actions, and psychiatry. However, that isn’t to say that I find these moments boring – I truly don’t! They bring so much insight into how Natalie sees the side-characters and helps to bring a a different perspective on what is happening.

Dangerous To Know was definitely a stronger novel than Medea’s Curse now that Natalie King has been established. I enjoyed the concept of this novel and the way it played out far more especially with the varying strands of the narrative and the different threads of the investigation. It is a lot to take in and sometimes I had to re-read sentences to fully understand due to the web of connections but it all fit together naturally and didn’t feel forced. I am thoroughly enjoying Natalie King as a character and, Anne Buist, I expect there to be another novel!

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