Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Emma Curtis’s latest novel, When I Find You. I thoroughly enjoyed Emma’s debut, One Little Mistake, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her follow up, When I Find You, ahead of publication, and to be able to take part in the blog tour.
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.
Face-blindness, or Prosopagnosia, is a condition that I didn’t know much about going into this novel, other than it being an inability to recognise faces. I’d never really thought beyond this, in terms of the impact that this condition would have on a person and those close to them, and the difficulties it would cause in everyday life. It’s something that Curtis has researched thoroughly for this novel, and I thought that she brought Laura’s daily struggles to life brilliantly, including the question of whether or not to tell people. It’s a real dilemma – if people know, they can introduce themselves when they speak to you, but there’s always going to be the one bad egg who will take advantage of the condition.
Of course, this is the situation Laura finds herself in after he office Christmas party when she realises the morning after that the man she took home with her is not the man she had been canoodling with all evening, the difference highlighted by the colour of the shirt she finds on the floor. Coward that he is, he does a runner before she can confront him, and she is left to work out who it was, why they would commit such an act, and how they knew, given that she has only told her boss, Rebecca – no one else knows. And Laura feels unable to report the incident to the police, fearing that they won’t believe her “sorry, officer, I don’t who he was because I don’t recognise faces”. Laura is left in a situation of not knowing who she can trust, and takes the only option available to her in not trusting anyone, attempting to cope on her own.
Laura’s character is one that it’s so easy to get behind. Her ways of coping with her condition show such determination, and whilst her intent to take her revenge on the culprit, once she works out who it is, maybe isn’t entirely advisable, I couldn’t help but admire her spirit, and I wanted her to succeed. I think that Laura also inspired sympathy in the way that those around her treat her. Most don’t know about her face-blindness, and so find her to be anti-social and standoffish, but even Rebecca is unsympathetic towards her, and makes things harder for Laura than they need to be. It has to be said that the other characters in the novel, for the most part, aren’t all that likeable, making it easier to support Laura in her quest for revenge.
When I Find You is an incredibly fast-paced story, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. I thought I’d been really clever in working it out, and whilst I got some elements right, the final twist was absolutely brilliant, and completely unexpected. This is a fantastically original thriller, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
When I Find You was published as an eBook on 1 July, and will be out in paperback on 8 August. Many thanks to the publisher, Black Swan for the review copy, and to Anne Cater for inviting me to join the blog tour.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour!