When I Find You by Emma Curtis
When I Find You is a thriller set in London. Laura is an art director who works in the advertising industry. She has a condition called prosopagnosia which is also known as face-blindness. It means she cannot recognise faces and must rely of other aspects of a person’s profile to remember them. For instance, a person’s hair colour and dramatic style, obvious tattoos, or unusual visible piercings all help Laura distinguish a person when she can’t remember their face.
At the work’s Christmas party, Laura gets drunk. She’s been dancing with someone she labels ‘Mr Pink Shirt’; they’ve been inseparable and she’s enjoyed herself. In the morning she wakes up beside a man who believes it must be pink-shirt-man, but when she sees a blue shirt crumpled on the floor she reels in shock; who has she slept with? While she’s in the bathroom, he leaves without a word and Laura is left feeling violated.
In a plot full of twists, Laura vows to discover who the mystery man was and bring him to justice for taking advantage of her. As she refuses to confide in anyone, the stress affects her work. She stalks men who were at the party, as she eliminates them from her suspects. However, Laura’s not the only one keeping secrets and her amateur-sleuthing will affect more than one innocent person.
The face-blindness added an interesting theme to this thriller, which ticked a box for me. It makes Laura an unreliable witness which hampers her search for ‘Mr Blue Shirt’. Laura must find a different starting point for her investigations than the more usual one of remembering a face. I don’t read many thrillers and have few amateur-sleuth skills, so I didn’t guess the culprit before the end which was also a bonus. If, like me, you’re someone who prefers a thriller which doesn’t feature multiple murders and gruesome ways to die, then this might be for you.
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What do you do when someone takes advantage of your greatest weakness?
When Laura wakes up after her office Christmas party and sees a man’s shirt on the floor, she is horrified. But this is no ordinary one-night-stand regret. Laura suffers from severe face-blindness, a condition that means she is completely unable to identify and remember faces. So the man she spent all night dancing with and kissing – the man she thought she’d brought home – was ‘Pink Shirt’.
But the shirt on her floor is blue. And now Laura must go to work every day and face the man who took advantage of her condition. The man she has no way of recognising.
She doesn’t know who he is . . . but she’ll make him pay.
Emma Curtis was born in Brighton and now lives in London with her husband. After raising her two children and working various jobs, her fascination with the darker side of domestic life inspired her to write her acclaimed debut novel, One Little Mistake. When I Find You is her second thriller.