Book review: Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

I can’t resist a book by Lisa Jewell so was thrilled to be given the chance to read this one.

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 ten 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 thirty-three 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?

My review

This story took me a little longer to get into than other books by this author but what I loved about it was the way it shows what it feels like to be on the wrong end of social injustice. Lisa Jewell is so good at getting inside characters’ heads and making you feel their thoughts. I was reminded of a couple of real life cases where prejudice has got in the way of an investigation.

It’s told in different viewpoints – Saffyre who’s been damaged by a childhood experience and let down by a system designed to help her; Cate, wife of Roan the psychologist who counselled Saffyre; and Owen who lives across the road from Cate and Roan. I enjoyed seeing how these characters’ lives intertwined, with suspicion, psychological trauma and revenge bubbling under ever more furiously under the surface as the story headed towards an inevitable conclusion.

Owen’s storyline intrigued me most. I wanted to know what experiences had shaped him and how the situation he was in would affect him. A social misfit and incel, he largely had my sympathy although some of his thoughts and responses were disturbing. His attempts to find sympathy online draw him into a dark, misogynist community but how far is he prepared to go down that road?

While it would be hard to beat The Family Upstairs for plot or The House We Grew Up In for characters and surprise twists, I’d recommend Invisible Girl to fans of psychological dramas and can imagine it as a TV series.

Invisible Girl is published by Random House UK/Cornerstone and available now in ebook, paperback, hardback and audio versions. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy via NetGalley.

2 thoughts on “Book review: Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

  1. Great review โ€“ although I get the impression you might have been slightly disappointed.
    I love Jewellโ€™s books and look forward to reading this.
    Stay safe,


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