girl in the rearview mirror kelsey rae dimberg
Book Review / Kelsey Rae Dimberg / Reviews with Spoilers

Kelsey Rae Dimberg | Girl in the Rearview Mirror

girl in the rearview mirror kelsey rae dimberg

The Book: 

The Girl in the Rearview Mirror by Kelsey Rae Dimberg, 2019

The Characters: 

Finn, the nanny
Philip, the senator’s son; his wife Marina, their daughter Amabel

The Plot (from Goodreads):

They are Phoenix’s First Family: handsome Philip Martin, son of the sitting Senator, an ex-football player who carries himself with an easy grace and appears destined to step into his father’s seat when the time is right; his wife Marina, the stylish and elegant director of Phoenix’s fine arts museum; and their four-year-old daughter Amabel, beautiful and precocious and beloved.

Finn Hunt is working a dull office job to pay off her college debt when she meets Philip and charms Amabel. She eagerly agrees to be a nanny, thinking she’s lucked into the job of a lifetime. Though the glamour of the Martins’ lifestyle undeniably dazzles Finn, her real pleasure comes from being part of the family: sharing quick jokes with Philip in the kitchen before he leaves for work; staying late when Marina needs a last-minute sitter; and spending long days with Amabel, who is often treated more like a photo op than a child.

But behind every façade lurks a less attractive truth. When a young woman approaches Finn, claiming a connection with Philip and asking Finn to pass on a message, Finn becomes caught up in a web of deceit with the senate seat at its center. And Finn isn’t exactly innocent herself: she too has a background she has kept hidden, and under the hot Phoenix sun, everything is about to be laid bare.

Click here for book spoilers for Girl in the Rearview Mirror
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Girl in the Rearview Mirror, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Finn is approached by a woman called Iris, who claims to be pregnant with Philip’s baby. While Finn is eavesdropping on Philip and Marina fighting about his affair, Amabel drowns in the pool. After Amabel’s death, Finn is pushed out of the family and excommunicated. She decides to do some of her own investigating.

Finn goes to Iris’s house and begins to piece together the truth. Amabel was adopted, and Iris’s sister Stacy was her mother. She was around 16 when she had Amabel, and the adoption was a secret. 

Philip and Marina didn’t even tell Philip’s father (the senator). When Iris tried to blackmail Phillip, the senator found out about the secret adoption and was furious about how it would affect his image. 

As the senator was yelling at Philip and Marina for not telling him about the adoption, he had a perfect view of the pool where Amabel drowned. He watched her fall into the pool alone and did nothing. He pretended he didn’t see so that she would die and become a tragedy rather than a scandal.

The Review: 

It took until Chapter 18 (out of 44) before anything interesting happened in this book. I get the need to set the scene and develop the characters, but taking 19 not-short chapters to do so is too long. Seriously, you could skip from the end of Chapter 1 to the beginning of Chapter 18 and not miss a thing.

By Chapter 38, a few questions have been introduced, but no real twist/suspense. Is this just a very drawn out family drama, or will the last few chapters be a whirlwind? Stay tuned…

Nope, the ending was not worth it. 

I didn’t like Finn–why didn’t she just tell Philip/Marina/the cops about Iris’s threats, instead of getting involved? Why would she leave a party with someone who had just threatened and assaulted her? It just seemed like she was trying too hard to be the detective when she should’ve just left it all alone. 

What did you think? Were you as unimpressed with this one as I was?

girl in the rearview mirror kelsey rae dimberg
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