Book Review: With The Safe Place Anna Downes delivers a tense and compelling debut

The Safe Place

The Safe Place, the debut novel from actor and author Anna Downes, takes lead protagonist Emily Proudman on a thrilling ride. She loses her apartment, her agent and her job; all in the space of one day. Before she has time to take it all in, her successful and handsome former boss comes to the rescue, with a job offer. 

Now working as a live in assistant for her boss’ family on a remote French estate, her life is completely different. Transformed from monochrome to technicolour, it’s a chance to start over. But, of course, nothing is quite as it seems, with the beautiful French haven hiding some dangerous secrets. 

Downes does a wonderful job of building up her characters; teasing their aspirations, their flaws and the lengths they will go to create a ‘perfect life’ for themselves. It all adds up to an intriguing and addictive read. A real page turner; I couldn’t put the book down once the secrets began to be unveiled. 

Written as a way to regain control after struggling with post natal depression, Anna Downes’ debut is a very tense and compelling read. Her acting skills undoubtedly came in handy, bolstering the plot and the characters. Packed full of twists, The Safe Place may be one of the most exciting Australian debuts of the year. 


Anna Downes’ debut novel The Safe Place is out now via Affirm Press. Grab yourself a signed copy from Booktopia HERE

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