The Empty Bed

book coverBy Nina Sadowsky

** Publication Date 28 January 2020**

The Empty Bed picks up where The Burial Society left off. Catherine, an operative for said Burial Society, makes a practice of helping people escape their lives. Mostly women who are in bad marriages – and by bad, I don’t mean unhappy, but truly bad, marriages where they are beaten or threatened or living with monsters. Catherine helps them escape and become whole new people. New names, new identities, new lives. What she does is dangerous, and sometimes deadly, but she believes in it wholeheartedly. ‘

In this novel we meet two new operatives, Stephanie and John. Catherine is training them to work on their own, and in their own way, they are teaching her a thing or two. Both are coming from tragedy in their own lives. Perhaps that is what leads them to want to work for the Burial Society. Perhaps in a way they are adrenaline junkies. Regardless, they have chosen this path.

Peter and Eva are a thirty something couple living in London. Peter works in high finance. Eva has given up her journalism career to start a family, only she can’t seem to get pregnant. So now Eva spends her days walking her dog Baxter and shooting photos of whatever she fancies. Peter finds time for her when he can. So when Peter proposes a surprise trip to Paris for their anniversary, Eva is a bit skeptical. She’s just not sure what to make of his sudden attentiveness.

Magali is an FBI special agent. She has worked her way up the ranks and is about to depart for undercover training. But she has one last case to clear off her plate, the disappearance of socialite Betsy Elliot and her son Bear. Of course the husband is the prime suspect, but Magali definitely doesn’t see it that way. How does a prominent wife and her six year old son just vanish off the face of the earth with no trace? Magali is going to make it her mission to find out.

Just as with The Burial Society, I couldn’t put this one down. I stayed up way past my bedtime two nights in a row to finish it and find out what happens to all these people in this crazy, twisty, turny novel. Sadowsky is a master of suspense, taking you to the brink and then switching the story to an alternate point of view. Each character has layers to unpack, each layer bringing new revelations. 

I couldn’t wait for this follow up to The Burial Society, and as with some sequels, you often don’t know if they will meet your expectations. Not this one. Sadowsky surpassed all expectations I had for book number two. Now I have to wait, anxiously, to find out what happens with Stephanie, John and Catherine, and what “burials” they have in store next.

4.5 stars

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