Tara and David are typical “Hollywooders” in that appearances are everything. What looks flashy and successful from the outside is all actually a bit of a façade. Having built a new home they can barely afford, the wheels of the couple’s happy little marriage cart are only one revolution away from falling off completely. Tara’s art isn’t selling the way it used to, David is insecure in his hold on his pretty young wife (his former student) and an unexpected pregnancy is adding emotional weight to a relationship that would never have been called rock solid, even at the romantic beginning.
Building supervisor Ryan was once the romantic spark in Tara’s eye and as one last hurrah before motherhood and domestic servitude, Tara and Ryan give it a red hot go upstairs in the unfinished house. In the inevitable post coital confrontation, David’s cuckholded ire takes unexpected force and Ryan plummets a floor down to the concrete below. David and Tara now need to stop with the lies and join together truly as a team, or neither one of them will be making it through this horror intact.
What is lacking in the reading of this book is the wish to barrack the characters on and see them through. The two leads in THE ACCIDENT have very little chemistry, which makes the lengths they are prepared to go to in order to coverup a death largely self serving – this couple were not a likeable pair to begin with. It is refreshing however to read a domestic thriller from the point of view of the husband (too), with the catalyst for drama stemming from his choices, and not by those of his wife.
THE ACCIDENT, as a relationship tale of choice and consequence, had a fair amount of scope straight from its fast moving beginning. All the ingredients were there for a psychological thriller, condensed to a fairly small stage and played out upon the complicated landscape of the modern marriage. This novel does not quite reach the mark in fulfilling its early promise, though the musings of the husband upon how he got himself into his predicament are quite insightful and add much to the novel’s melancholic and regretful air. There is more than a little bit of “reap what ye sow” in THE ACCIDENT so it may be intentional that we don’t hold much sympathy for David and Tara. We just might however be curious to see who is left standing at the end.