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The Safe Place

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  8,014 ratings  ·  2,430 reviews
Emily is a mess.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

Emily is desperate.

Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.

Emily is perfect.

Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enc
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,014 ratings  ·  2,430 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was gripping, entertaining, weird, predictable but great choice to spend your time without thinking apocalyptic and horrifying news and getting rid of your daily paranoia by focusing on something crazier.

The story’s told by Emily, her boss Scott and his boss’ dear wife Nina.

Let’s talk about Emily, in mid-twenties, gullible, naïve, talkative, confused, friendly, suffering from her wrong life choices, having problematic relationship with her parents (finally when she decides to call her mother
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
3.5...interesting, a bit predictable. I think I wanted a bit more...

When Emily finds herself fired from her temp job...she is at a loss for what to do. Her acting career is not taking off, she is not close with her family, in fact she resents them. Then her ex boss- of all people offer her a job that seems too good to be true. Okay Emily that is your first hint...too good to be true, go with your gut...but nope she took the easy route and thought what the hell, I have nothing to lose.

Scott wants
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
A strong debut; engrossing and intense. Well done, Downes!

Emily Proudman is struggling. Secretly, she wishes for someone to rescue her from her troubles. Is that too much for a girl to ask for?

As luck would have it, just in time, a white knight comes charging in to do just that. And by white knight, I mean the uber-wealthy, Scott Denny, Emily's former boss, who offers her an unusual opportunity she cannot turn down.

Before she knows it, Em is being whisked off to the coast of France to live in a
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Emily is having a bad day; a very bad day and it leaves her not only in a bind but in a mess. She has been fired from her job, lost her agent, and given the notice to vacate by her landlord. Scott appears to have it all, he is successful, wealthy, and handsome.... but he has a problem that he can't fix, that is until he meets Emily....

Scott offers Emily a job at his remote home in France to help his wife Nina. There she meets both Nina and Scott and Nina's daughter Aurelia. It is also there at t
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2020
The beautiful cover made me want to hop on a plane and go somewhere nice and tropical to read this book but that was not an option so I found a comfy chair in a warm room instead.

I think I can safely say that the main character, Emily, needed help urgently. To accept a job in France from someone she does not know, leave without telling anyone and then toss her phone as soon as she gets there and cease any contact with home. She was asking for everything she got.

However, despite the rather dodgy
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
After 2 weeks of not reading a thing and with 3 hours left on my loan from the library..............I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED A BOOK!!!!! Too bad it was mega meh.

TW: Because this is a thriller I've hidden them behind a spoiler tag. Click 'view spoiler' if you would like to see them --> (view spoiler)
Emily Proudman's acting career has come to a standstill. None of the auditions she's gone to have been successful and her agent is leaving for the US. On top of that she's just lost her most recent job as a receptionist. Her rent is overdue and without work she can't afford to stay in London but she also can't go home to the parents she's been neglecting. But then she runs into her former boss, Scott Denny, who offers her a job as a housekeeper and personal assistant to his wife Nina who lives i ...more
Katie B
3.5 stars

I love the book cover design for this one as it practically begs you to read the book during the summer or while on vacation. The story hooked me from the beginning because it had a creepy factor to it in which I wasn't entirely sure which direction the author was going to go because it felt like there were endless possibilities. I do have some mixed feelings about the big reveal and the last quarter of the story so that's why I landed on a 3.5 star rating.

Emily's life is a bit of a mes
Sep 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, 2020
I liked The Safe Place, but found it to be slow, slow, slow. It seemed like we spent ages on Emily’s character development interspersed with glimpses into Scott’s character, where we learn through the briefest of hints that something is not quite right, and perhaps a secret misdeed will be revealed. This is what kept me listening even though nothing was happening as an exciting and surprising outcome can make one rethink all that led up to it.

I liked the author's writing style, particularly once
Chelsea Humphrey
A bit predictable, but a nice escape from worldwide pandemics nonetheless.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emily Proudman is a strapped for cash aspiring actress but has to take temping jobs to make ends meet. She’s a bit disorganised, often late and so finds herself fired from her job at Proem Investments. Then out of the blue her ex-boss Scott Denny offers her a job as housekeeper/au pair/assistant to wife Nina and daughter Aurelia who live in France. Left with little other opportunity she makes her way to ‘Querencia’, the large and beautiful property Nina lives in. The story is told principally by ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
A nicely done debut by Anna Downes. 3.5 stars

The Safe Place kept me engaged throughout, and with one minor tweak (which I'll mention below), this could be a truly outstanding novel.

Told almost entirely from Emily's point of view, there are also a few chapters told from Scott's perspective, as well as some sections from an unidentified voice. I'll be honest, the unidentified sections fooled me. I suspected something very different. (view spoiler)
Angela Staudt
Apr 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you NetGalley for giving me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t really know how I felt about this, I saw all the incredible reviews and had high expectations. Those expectations were not met, and I am disappointed. I thought this was a very drawn out thriller, that you figure out very soon into the book. I didn’t have that, “wow” moment where my jaw drops open. While the author did a great job at adding in very peculiar thoughts throughout that kind of made you eerie, it didn’
Emily Proudman was destitute. Her acting career was over before it had even begun. She’d lost her temping job as a receptionist. The rent was behind – again – and the landlord had given her four weeks to get out. And there was no one left who would lend her a couch to sleep on, or money to see her through. She had no idea what she would do next. That was, until Scott Denny, her old boss, offered her a job that was far too good to be true. So much money, and to just be a companion to his wife, an ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 ⭐️

It is safe to say that “The safe place” is a pretty good effort for a debut novel. It could have been great but for a series of issues that in my opinion were a bit of a letdown.

The premise was quite intriguing and those first chapters when we get to know Emily and about Scott’s schemes to bring her into his employment kept me quite engrossed as I could not figure out why all that interest in her and why she was the perfect choice for the job. The problem is that we never really find out
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

2.5 Stars

When Emily finds herself unemployed, about to be evicted and cut off from her family’s pocketbook due to asking for assistance one too many times, she has no clue what will save her tail. Enter former boss Scott. Emily may have been a terrible receptionist at his company, but she has a good personality and might just be the perfect fit as a personal assistant for his wife at their French estate. Gardening, home decorating and
Michael David
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it
THE SAFE PLACE is about a woman named Emily who is a failing actress, working as an Administrative Assistant to pay her bills until she’s terminated. Down on her luck, she accepts a seemingly perfect offer to be a housekeeper/all around assistant to a woman named Nina and her sickly daughter. The house is in France and shrouded in luxury and privacy. Of course something sinister is going on.

I enjoyed this book, and found myself engaged for the majority of it. Author Anna Downes does a fantastic
Christina McDonald
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Richly evocative with a dark, atmospheric heart, The Safe Place is seductive, irresistible and suspenseful. I was completely gripped from the first page to the pulse-pounding end!

When Emily finds herself fired from her job, she’s unexpectedly thrown a lifeline by her ex-boss. She agrees to be the housekeeper for Scott, his wife Nina, and their daughter Aurelia at their remote estate on the coast of France. But when the seemingly idyllic setting abruptly turns sinister, Emily realizes Scott and N
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A strong, stunning debut!

I had such a great time reading The Safe Place. The beginning grabbed me, the middle was awesome and it just got better from there! So many twists and surprises that it was hard to figure out just what was happening. And just when you thought you figured it out, they just kept comin’ atcha!

There are four main characters. Emily is an out of work actress trying to make ends meet. When she gets fired from her office job, she is at a loss about what to do.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Safe Place by Anna Downes is a thriller that is told from the different points of view of the main characters. There is also moments that flash back in time to build the back story of the couple involved.

Emily Proudman is a want to be actress that has taken a temporary receptionist job to actually pay her bills. After a few weeks at that job though Emily finds herself stumbling in late after an audition after which she is immediately fired. Out of work with no way to pay the bills Emily then
Kylie H
The premise of this book sounded very intriguing but for me, the book failed to live up to it. There is so much potential in this plot, and although quite atmospheric, I didn't find myself particularly drawn in.
Emily is hitting rock bottom, fired from her temping job and about to be evicted, her former employer offers her a position that appears to be too good to be true. She finds herself in a private and remote 'compound' style French estate as a companion and assistant to a woman and her you
Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
Emily is down on her luck. After being fired (yet again), she also receives notice that she’s being evicted and her acting agent is moving and she’s being dropped. To make things go from awful to worse, when she calls for a bail out from her adoptive mom, she interrupts her birthday dinner without realizing the date and her parents are ready to write her off as well. So when her old boss, Scott Denny, is in the right place at the right time and rescues her from an oncoming bus, Emily is ready to ...more
Catherine Woodward
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*Many thanks to NetGalley, Minotaur, and Anna Downes for an ARC of this book!* Now available as of 7.14!

The Safe Place is being released at the perfect time this year: when we all desperately need an escape! Aspiring actress Emily is given the chance of a lifetime when her boss at a prestigious company offers her a position as an 'au pair' of sorts at his idyllic estate hidden in France. Without the interruptions of technology and with a mysterious young girl Aurelia and Scott's lovely wife Nina
Lisa Konet
Available: 7/14/20

This had the potential to be a lot better than it actually was. Who wouldn't want a job opportunity in paradise? Paradise isn't what it seems and soon becomes a nightmare. Sound familiar? That's because there are so many other books with this same idea!

Great premise but it was predictable AF.. I wasn't surprised with the ending either. Beautiful cover though. Almost a DNF.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and publisher for ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Extremely predictable, a bit slow. Kind of boring actually and Emily was naive and a little dumb. The writing was good but I expected a bit more from this. The "twist" I already saw coming and I was left with disappointment because... that was it?? I expected more from the title and the cool cover.. How sad. Overall, this is just another fairly forgettable thriller.

Thank you to the publisher and to netgalley for the copy!
Pat (not getting friend updates currently)
This was an excellent story and surprisingly compelling. Emily Proudman is a struggling actress in London, having to take on temp jobs to keep her head above water. One day she gets fired from the current temp job and comes home to learn that she is to be evicted for rental arrears. Her parents are sick of ‘lending’ her money. Oh well, she has one more audition... but when her agent drops her too Emily is distraught. But wait, things are not as they seem.

When her former boss ‘accidentally’ bumps
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really really really loved this book. But let me tell you why...

I really love those books that kind of feel creepy without being obvious or transparent. You just start to feel "Off" while turning the pages. Its like deep down you know there is something really freaking wrong but you havent a clue what it is.... thats how I felt when I started reading A safe place. I felt creeped the F out and anything but safe. But as I read all these odds and ends came together to form this insane picture tha
Melanie (mells_view)
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
”Querencia was a little like Narnia. You could spend weeks there without ever leaving, months even, and on your return to the real world it seemed that no time had passed at all.”

I really liked this. The Safe Place is this slow burn mystery suspense read. Like legitimately the entire time I was just waiting for our poor naive heroine to actually have something happen to her. Like something was there, out of focus, just waiting for this unsuspecting woman to get too close.

I think as you read thin
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well they say bad things happen in threes and for poor Emily this statement proves to be true .. she loses her job, her agent and her landlord has given notice of eviction from her flat!!

Scott her handsome former boss has a proposition, he offers her a job as a “housekeeper slash au pair slash personal assistant” in France working with his wife Nina and their autistic daughter Aurelia.

For me the warning bells were ringing as this seemed too good to be true and the timing was too convenient.

Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
I thought The Safe Place was really good! It was a quick and enjoyable read.

I do feel like it struggled with it's identity though, if that makes any sense... The marketing materials and even the title didn't really go with the story. Is it a mystery? Is there something paranormal going on? In an attempt to create a mystery, it almost just left me confused about what was going on.

Still really enjoyed it. Looking forward to see what else Anna Downes comes up with!
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ANNA DOWNES was born and raised in Sheffield, UK, but now lives just north of Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children. She worked as an actress before turning her attention to writing. She was shortlisted for the Sydney Writers Room Short Story Prize (2017) and longlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Competition (2018).
The Safe Place was inspired by Anna’s experiences working as

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