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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin

From the number one best-selling author of The Family Upstairs and Then She Was Gone comes an engrossing, twisty tale of betrayal when an outsider is accused of murder.

London: on a fine avenue of grand houses, big cars and electronic gates lies a neglected urban wasteland.

It is nearly midnight and very cold. Yet in this dark place of long grass and tall trees where cats hunt and foxes shriek, a girl is waiting. 

When Saffyre Maddox was 10, something terrible happened, and she's carried the pain of it around with her ever since. The man who she thought was going to heal her didn't, and now she hides from him, invisible in the shadows, learning his secrets; secrets she could use to blow his safe, cosy world apart.

Owen Pick is invisible, too. He's 33 years old and he's never had a girlfriend, he's never even had a friend. Nobody sees him. Nobody cares about him.

But when Saffyre Maddox disappears from opposite his house on Valentine's night, suddenly the whole world is looking at him. Accusing him. Holding him responsible.

Because he's just the type, isn't he? A bit creepy?

Invisible Girl: a story of secrets and injustices and of how we look in the wrong places for the bad people while the real predators walk among us in plain sight.

©2020 Lisa Jewell (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Invisible Girl

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  • Sarah Rayner
  • 18-08-20

A Jewell amongst writers, who deserves to be recognised as such

Lisa Jewell's latest novel, 'Invisible Girl’ is to my mind her best since the excellent ‘Then She Was Gone’, which in recent weeks hit the number one spot in the NY Times bestsellers list. Whilst some might define it as a psychological thriller, I'd say it's a cross between that and a family drama, much in the vein of her novels of the last five years. The story is told from three points of view; that of Cate, a mum of two whose husband, Roan, we suspect as dodgy in some way almost from the off, Saffyre, a bright but lonely teen with a history of self-harm, whose disappearance drives the narrative, and Owen, a teacher who finds himself suspended from his job when he is accused by two pupils of inappropriate behaviour.

As with all her novels, the storytelling in 'Invisible Girl' is so fluid and her characters so credible that Lisa Jewell almost does herself a disservice. Right from the off with her debut, ‘Ralph’s Party’, over twenty years ago, her gift for narrative makes reading or listening to her work effortless, rather like being a passenger in a vehicle where the driver manages to minimise the impact of potholes, break gently to avoid a child who suddenly runs into the street and never takes a wrong turn or ends up in a jam. But don’t be fooled. Her books are more cannily crafted than they seem.

The strand of the plot which revolves around the hunt for the missing Saffyre, for instance, eerily echoes the Joanna Yeates’ case of a decade ago, where the police in Bristol initially suspected and arrested Christopher Jefferies, Yeates's landlord, who lived in a flat in the same building. He was subsequently released without charge, but was vilified in the press. Yet whilst other, lesser novelists might underline these parallels for us, the readers and listeners, to make sure we get the point, Lisa Jewell never mentions that case. It just lurked in the back of my mind as I listened, adding to my empathy for Owen, who unwitting digs himself deeper and deeper into a hole during the investigation. That he does so because he is naive and socially clumsy and lacks supportive friends and family is utterly credible, and gets us gunning for an underdog that many authors would choose to make a villain.

Similarly, the domestic setting in which she places her characters might seem unadventurous, for she rarely ventures beyond the same few square miles of North London, book after book. But again, don’t be fooled; with each novel she tackles a different aspect of urban life, and her novels pack more of a political punch than it might seem. This one perhaps more overtly so than any prior. Unlike Margaret Atwood, say, who drives home her feminist message with a mallet in 'The Testaments', her widely lauded follow-up to 'The Handmaid’s Tale', Jewell’s observations about social injustice aren’t set in a dramatic dystopian future, but in the far more prosaic streets of present-day Kilburn and Hampstead. She explores class, gender and racial prejudice through rich characterisation and dialogue - just as Mike Gayle did in his 2019 novel, 'Half A World Away’. And whilst both authors might be labelled writers of ‘popular fiction’ - a term that often whiffs of intellectual snobbery - I’m not sure why anyone feels the need to be sniffy, when both sit comfortably alongside David Nicholls, who was nominated for the Booker, after all.

In short, if this is the first Lisa Jewell you've listened to, you're in for a treat. And if she is already a firm favourite, it will not disappoint. It's excellently narrated on Audible, and is thus highly recommended.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-08-20

Really enjoyed

I liked the narrators, and the story was great. I liked the different characters. Would recommend! Kept me very entertained on dog walks!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Suzi Cross
  • 06-08-20

oh WOW - loving Lisa Jewell even more!

This is my 5th or 6th Lisa Jewell book and it certainly didn't disappoint. Gripping from start to finish with twists and turns all the way through. I just find her writing really sits well with me and I'm so glad there are still loads left to listen to!

10 people found this helpful

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  • AlfieF
  • 09-09-20

Another brilliant book by Lisa Jewell

This is a very different book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Can't wait for the next one.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-08-20

Absolutely loved it

Couldn't stop listening from beginning to end. loved it one if my best listens so far.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Charlotte Jones
  • 06-10-20

Not the best story

I was quite disappointed in this storyline. I’ve read a few of her other books and loved them, but I found this one very uneventful, predictable and slow. I was quite glad to finish it after hoping for a big exciting twist near the end but then disappointingly everything just tied up nicely instead. The characters didn’t capture my imagination and I found the narration a bit dull, I just didn’t connect with the book at all.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs AC Oxtoby
  • 09-09-20

Narration disappointing

Good story spoilt by almost manic narration at times, way too fast. Listening was just too stressful!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jill
  • 28-08-20

Brilliant Read

The best book I have listened to in ages, ( and I listen to a lot!) The characters are so well developed that you can really feel and understand them and on top the that the narrators were all brilliant, each one really enhanced all their characters and were all so believable. The story is very cleverly written and keeps you guessing and intrigued throughout, I literally could not stop listening and wondering what was going to happen. Hoping my next read is as good as this, it will take some beating!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Deborah
  • 25-08-20

Great suspense.

I loved loved this book. Great down to earth story which was well written and full of suspense. I literally became anxious for one of the characters as I listened ..I will be looking for other books from this author.

2 people found this helpful

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  • vicky
  • 23-08-20

Good book, but prefer some of her others

The characters in this book are very detailed, you feel like you know them very well. Good storyline. Mid point, I felt it dragged a little, but I still wanted to stay with it. I enjoyed the narration.
I'm sure the book would have been just as good without the F word regularly dropped in to it. Not sure it added anything.
I still prefer the family upstairs, I found you and Vince and Joy. Overall this is an enjoyable book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 18-08-20

Oh hell no

Awful story awful characters it’s impossible to like any of them. I’m totally off all Lisa jewels stories

1 person found this helpful