Release Day Review: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

26154406In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it…

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.

Rating: 4.5 Stars | Mystery, Thriller, Suspense



In the first few pages it seems like Tanya Dubois won’t be a hard one to figure out. In fact you could think your conclusions about a woman who leaves her husband’s body behind are mostly solid and accurate, but one of the things this book did, and amazingly I may add, it’s letting you judge and doubt you own constantly-changing assumptions about this whole ride.

“I needed time to think, to weigh my options, to decide what kind of person I was, what kind of person I had become, and what kind of person I was going to be”

It didn’t fail at grasping your attention and never letting it go since the first page, in true mystery novel fashion it fueled the “how much can you guess” instinct, with portions where the story moved at a fast pace, in others where it settled so the plot could grow thicker. We are introduced to a series of email correspondence between two characters, that not only might reveal the enigma behind Tanya’s past, but also, as the correspondence progresses, could it help us see a possible outcome?

Out of  the variety of characters, Blue is undoubtedly a serious presence, at times I wondered which of them had the most questionable personality -I have my own answer, I’ll let you decide for yourself!- Blue possesses that type of interesting and dangerous cleverness, how is this part of Blue going to affect Tanya along the way?

“All of the things I had once believed about myself, about my inherent decency – I didn’t have the same foothold on them as I once had”

Once you are deep into this novel you realize how relatable Tanya is. When you read a psychological mystery of this caliber, you certainly don’t expect the main character to be ‘relatable’ but this fact was a huge plus point for me, while the novel obviously doesn’t dwell on deep emotions and sentimentalism, it does a great job at portraying how fragile a seemingly ordinary person can be in Tanya’s position, how much of the many things she did within this novel while trying to go on are we also capable of doing? How much of our sanity are we willing to put at risk without giving it a second thought?

“For a moment I let myself reminisce over the last time I threw away my life. It hurt back then; I didn’t feel it much the second time around”

If I didn’t show it enough, well let me emphasize how greatly I enjoyed this novel, completely enthralling, one that still has me thinking about its ending. Will Tanya continue to ride on the passenger seat, or will she be able to take the wheel?

Thank you, NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Pub Date: March 1st 2016 | Page Count: 304 pp | Publisher: Simon & Schuster

About The Author


Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including the forthcoming thriller, The Passenger (Simon & Schuster, March 2016), How to Start a Fire, six novels in the Spellman books series, and Heads You Lose, co-authored with David Hayward. She is also the author of the children’s book, How to Negotiate Everything, illustrated by Jaime Temairik. Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor’s degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. Lisa lives in the Hudson Valley, New York.

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2 thoughts on “Release Day Review: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

  1. hashtaglovebooks says:

    This sounds like a great book! I loved reading your review! Can I just say- I fell in love with your blog! I love the design and your photography is great! It’s so minimalistic!
    I just followed!


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