The Surrogate: A gripping psychological thriller with an incredible twist

The Surrogate: A gripping psychological thriller with an incredible twist

by Louise Jensen


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‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister and The Gift, this is an unputdownable psychological thriller which asks how far we will go to create our perfect family.

What readers are saying about The Surrogate:

'This novel was paced perfectly and I actually finished it in one day because I couldn't put it down... so addictive! The Surrogate is a 5-star novel that is a 2017 must read! I am already looking forward to reading what Louise Jensen comes out with next!' Steph and Chris Book Reviews

'This book had more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, with the heart thumping feeling to go with it! If you like psychological thrillers, then definitely read this one… you will not regret it! Five Stars!' Stardust Book Reviews

'All I can say is wow! I rarely give a book 5 stars... I really could not put it down.' Goodreads reviewer

'Ever since I read Louise Jensen’s debut The Sister I've been a huge fan of her writing, but OMG The Surrogate her latest and most adventurous book yet plant her firmly on my list of "must-read" authors... I really think this is the author's best book yet and it is definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I've read this year.' The Book Review Cafe

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786812230
Publisher: StoryFire LTD
Publication date: 09/27/2017
Pages: 322
Sales rank: 1,049,100
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.67(d)

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The Surrogate: A gripping psychological thriller with an incredible twist 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
very nice story...I thought the husband and Richard were lovers...I was wrong it was much worse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was going to go one way and it ended up another. Great quick read
JHSEsq More than 1 year ago
Kat desperately wants to be a mother. But she and her husband, Nick, have tried unsuccessfully to become parents and Nick is ready to give up. Then Kat encounters her best friend from childhood, Lisa. The meeting appears to be happenstance. But is it? Despite their shared history that left the two of them estranged for many years, Lisa offers to serve as a surrogate for Kat and Nick. At the outset, readers must suspend disbelief in order to accept that Lisa and Kat would enter into such an arrangement sans reconciliation of the dark history they share. After all, whatever happened all those years ago pulled them apart for many years and, under normal circumstances, the two would not just rekindle a friendship -- much less enter into a surrogacy arrangement -- without reconciliation. However, there is nothing normal about the characters author Louise Jensen creates or the world they inhabit. Jensen navigates readers through jaw-dropping revelations about the characters' pasts, their motivations, and what is really happening as opposed to what appears to be occurring. Every character is far more complex and, in some instances, sinister than they seem. And as Kat realizes that Lisa has misrepresented her current circumstances, actions, and motivations, she is forced to finally confront her fears about past events and how those fears can the power to impact her future. She muses, "You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you'd kill for it?" Lisa tells her several times, "We always get what we deserve." Jensen demonstrates through fast-paced plot twists and unpredictable character developments that nothing has occurred randomly. The quest to learn whether all of Jensen's characters indeed get what they deserve compels readers to suspend disbelief and keep reading. The Surrogate is thoroughly escapist entertainment. Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader's Copy of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept you coming back for more
MikyStu More than 1 year ago
So good! Thank you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A page turner with lots of surprises!
Myndia More than 1 year ago
Kat and her husband Nick have been trying to grow their family, but after a second failed adoption, they are starting feel hopeless and a little desperate. When Kat runs into her high school best friend Lisa and she offers to be a surrogate for her, they jump at the chance. However, she hasn’t spoken to Lisa in ten years due to an accident that changed their lives forever. And she doesn’t know how much she can trust Lisa. While Nick knows about the accident, there are elements of the story that Kat has never shared, things she doesn’t want Nick or anyone else to know. Unbeknownst to Kat, Nick has his own secrets, the kind that would destroy his marriage, turn his life upside down. And Lisa isn’t exactly innocent either… I loved The Gift by Louise Jensen. LOVED. And when I saw The Surrogate was coming out, I needed to read it. And let’s be honest, the premise of The Gift was a bit of a stretch (ok, it was a very long stretch), but it was so well written and so much fun to read that I didn’t care. So, I expected a stretch here, was looking forward to it. But. While I enjoyed The Surrogate, and the writing was totally up to par, I had a really hard time making the stretch. I believe there are a couple reasons for this. The first, and likely biggest effect on my feelings about this book, is my own previous struggles with infertility. Not only am I little sensitive about that particular subject, I’m also very educated about it. I’ve lived it. Spent years swimming in the IF virtual community (blogged about it for several years). Having a lot of information about and/or direct experience with something that is used as a plot device can definitely affect your reading experience. Obviously, I knew from the title what the premise of this book was, and I went in with what I hoped was an open mind. But Kat and Nick’s thoughtless and impulsive approach to surrogacy didn’t settle well with me. I know it was a measure of their desperation, having tried all the other routes previously, trying to do it the right way and failing at every turn, but I know that desperation, and I still couldn’t get there with them. The second issue is again likely my own. In truth, it’s a variation on the first. Right now, I’m struggling with stories that depict women as crazy because of infertility or post-partum depression, thinking about stealing babies, willing to sacrifice those around them to have their desperate needs met, doing things they’d never do under normal circumstances, becoming completely different people. Rationally, I know that these kinds of books are about extremes. It’s fiction. It’s not trying to say anything about women who deal with infertility or PPD. Just as most mentally ill people aren’t serial killers, but all fictional serial killers seem to be psychopaths. And when I read a book about psychopathic killers, I don’t get all riled up about the unfair misrepresentation. I’m also not a psychopath so…less personal, no? Point being, it’s me, not the book. So, my final word is, read it. I loved The Gift. I think Louise Jensen is a wonderful talent, one whose books I will continue to read. As I’ve pointed out (ad nauseum, perhaps), my issues with the book were my issues. If you haven’t had similar life experiences, I suspect you’ll love this book to pieces. Give it a go. And if you love it, please let me know. Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
sueward1958 More than 1 year ago
This is my kind of read, one that you can get your teeth into [the thriller part] emotional and realistic [my female mothery part] and what 'fertility problems' have on a couple [my experience with a friend who so wanted/needed a baby]. So I could think out of the box with this one, I have had experience of being around a couple who had tried no endless of methods to have a baby, yes including surrogacy. The emotional wreck it can leave a couple is beyond trying to explain, so, I could see both couples side. Kat and Nick tried everything. So many failed tasks, Kat is in despair and then from her past comes Lisa. Although they parted on bad terms, with the meeting of these two again you wouldn't really think so, the past seems like that..... past. Now this is where my 'thriller nose' came into play, however, I was wrong a lot of the times because so many people seemed like they had a lot to hide, so I ended up suspicious of many. Including Kat. Then Lisa learning of Kats plight agrees to carrying a baby for her. photo tenor.gif I wondered where the author was next going to go with this, I could see it was going somewhere........ Of course it would involve Lisa right? But Nick struck me as an odd ball too. Kat is obsessed with having a baby by any means but Nick sometimes seems reserved by this and distant one minute and full on the next [to me] I wanted to know what happened with Lisa and Kat in the past, why did they separate? What is lurking in the past? The mystery unravels as you read, I'm aware that some may have commented on this in their review, however, I will not, I would love for you to read it for yourselves and enjoy is. This authors previous book was so enjoyable for me that I was wondering if she could pull it off again, well she did, big time. This is one author I will be following. Her ease of writing is superb, easy to follow the layouts for the plots are always consistent as are the characters she makes come alive. My thanks to Bookoutour via Net Galley for my copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kat and Lisa had once been good friends but a fight broke them apart. But when they run into one another today, Lisa is very friendly. Something in their past has left Kat very ashamed. Kat is married to Nick. They have been unable to have children of their own and two adoptions have failed at the last minute. Now, Kat is thinking about going the surrogacy route. However, Nick is not keen on this. Seeing Lisa and catching up on their lives, Kat learns that Lisa is a nurse and has been a surrogate before. When she asks Lisa if she will be a surrogate for them, she happily agrees. So, a contract is put together and monies agreed upon. The pregnancy happens right away and all of them are thrilled. When Kat was younger, she enjoyed acting. She was doing a play of West Side Story, with her boyfriend, Jake, who is also Lisa’s brother. Kat and Jake were in love but Jake died in a car accident which also injured Kat. She is still devastated by it. But there is something in the past relationship of Kat and Lisa which makes for some very dark secrets. Kat has never even confided in her husband Nick about her past which troubles her even today. But Nick also has his own secrets that he keeps to himself. The story goes from the present to the past and back again revealing little pieces of the puzzle at a time for the reader to put together. It certainly is written to keep the reader’s interest and sitting on the edge of their chair with the lights on. I found this to be a good book and hope others enjoy it as much as I did. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
Wow what a page turner! I could not put this book down. Kat and Nick have been trying to have a baby for years. Nothing is working for them. Into Kat's life reappears Lisa, a friend, her best friend from 10 years ago. Lisa learns of Kat's problem and offers to be a surrogate stating that she's done it before. That's when all the suspicions start. This was super crazy with the plot twists. I blamed everyone and came up with the worst scenarios throughout this whole book. Of course, I was wrong. Yay! And yes, the ending was jaw dropping! I totally did not see it coming! The first thing I did when I finished reading this book was tell my friends. This one fits right up their alley as a unputdownable thriller! An absolutely entertaining book that I thoroughly enjoyed! Thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
GreyKatReviews More than 1 year ago
Reader, don't make plans. You're just going to abandon them to finish this book instead... "Sometimes it scares me how far I'll go to to have a baby to call my own. Sometimes I think there's nothing I wouldn't do." Kat is desperate to grow her family. She and her husband, Nick, have tried adopting but after two failed attempts, Nick is ready to give up. That is until Kat's childhood best friend, Lisa, reenters her life and presents a unique opportunity: an offer to surrogate. But secrets lurk in the shadows and the past threatens to destroy all of Kat's dreams. Can she really trust Lisa? What is Nick hiding? And why does she always feel like she's being watched, hunted? This novel was an emotional rollercoaster as the truth was unraveled, one thread at a time. And just when you think you know where this is heading, the car veers into the other lane. Question everything. Assume nothing. And even still, you'll be lost. More than once, something revealed as a red herring made me question why. What was the point of steering the reader into that false assumption? But these jolts only serve as a clear indication that Kat's mind is slipping. After all, you can never really trust an unreliable narrator. It's right there in the name, isn't it? The brilliance of the misdirection is akin to an illusionist who steals your watch right off your wrist while you're trying to remember which card was yours. This deftness of craft was enough to overlook the awkward bumps in plot or the odd question mark that follows a statement? And the information dump from a string of flashbacks in chapters 43-52 that alternate jarringly between Kat and Nick was forgivable as it glued me to my seat, racing toward the book's gripping conclusion. Without giving away too much, I'll note, there is a sense of symmetry in the way the plot lines up when all is revealed. Themes of love and loss, familial ties and even physical hurts all seem to match up in such an orderly way that it is almost comfortable amidst this disturbing read. Most haunting of all? All these twists set to the terrifying horror-movie soundtrack in Kat's fraught subconscious: the laughter of those who would plot against her, and the incessant cries of a baby. The babies she lost, the babies she could yet have. Thank you to Netgalley, publisher Bookouture, and author Louise Jensen for an ARC of this ebook. Full review here: For discussion, including spoilers, go to:
AliTheDragonSlayer More than 1 year ago
As soon as The Surrogate was announced I was desperate to get a copy, if you have read Louise Jensen previously you will understand why. This had potential to be one of THE books of the year .. quite an image to live up to, so did it? OMG yes it did with bells on! Never go into a psychological thriller like this and think you will figure it out because it is so damn twisty and murky you will screw your brain. Louise has talent in bucket-loads when it comes to atmospheric, suspenseful writing. Even in the rare moments of innocence you begin to think everyone is guilty or hiding secrets. From the title is becomes apparent that this involves a baby, Kat and Nick have it all except that one element which will make their life complete. After desperately trying to conceive it just isn’t happening naturally. By sheer fluke (or is it) Kat’s best friend from childhood appears back in her life. Lisa and Kat had not been in touch for ten years due to some mysterious events involving them and a couple of others. The book flits back and forworth so we can see what happened then, but it is drip fed so builds the tension, we then come to present day and begin to find out how actions in the past have severe consequences today. I alternated between liking Lisa and then Kat and then neither of them, my emotions were all over the place. Both Kat and Nick have secrets they haven’t revealed to each other so basically their whole life is ready to implode. I was hooked from the start, when two murders are divulged you know it’s going to be a corker. The tension builds throughout the story and I didn’t fathom it out, I almost took a breath as I neared the end having been on edge for so long and then BAM Louise hits us with that ending! Another winner without a doubt, highly recommended. I would give more than five stars if I could. Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
CLynnT More than 1 year ago
This is my first read by Louise Jensen, but will definitely not be my last. I was hooked right from the start. As Kat’s personality is developing thru the paragraphs, you start to see small cracks in her oh-so-innocent demeanor. She seems to suffer from agoraphobia and drops casual hints that certain mental issues should be expected after what she’s endured. When Lisa reenters Kat’s life it all seems just a little too perfect. As they reminisce, you realize the two were so very close, inseparable even, during school. Kat was madly in love with Lisa’s twin brother, Jake. So what happened to him? And if they were so close, why have they been estranged for years? And what’s the deal with Nick, Kat’s husband? Is he truly a dedicated husband or will we learn he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing? His childhood is shown in bits and pieces before the curtain is dropped back again, just enough for you to feel a bit nervous about his potential and intents. His friend Richard is an attorney working to gain an adoption for Kat and Nick, but he seems to have his own agenda. One would almost think he’s sabotaging their efforts instead of looking out for their best interests. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the plot of this book as I turned each page. I was wrong on each twist and turn. I absolutely love reading books like this that challenge me and my thinking. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting an escape from your currently cluttered brain. As you read this, all your other pesky thoughts will take a back seat while you try to stay ahead of what’s unfolding. Good luck with that! My thanks go to the Publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this book.
MonnieR More than 1 year ago
Oh, baby, what a wild ride! Not that it wasn't expected; after all, I've read and thoroughly enjoyed both of the author's previous books - "The Gift" and "The Sister" - so I figured it was a given that this would be a winner as well. As it turns out, this may well be the best of the lot. My "baby" reference wasn't an accident, either; at the center of the story is a couple - Kat and Nick - who are beyond eager to have a child. Unable to conceive, they've tried, with help from Nick's friend Richard, to adopt infants from other countries. But those fell through at the last minute, leaving Kat despondent and ready to try anything. Enter Lisa, Kat's best friend back in their school days. The two had a major falling out just before their graduation, so Kat is surprised and not altogether happy to see her. But when Lisa drops the bombshell that she served as a surrogate mother for another woman, Kat sees the possibility that she could become a mother after all. Lisa agrees to help her friend, and Nick puts up little resistance (not nearly as much as I'd have expected coming from your average husband, but then he seems to want a baby almost as much as Kat does). Successfully impregnating Lisa isn't the real problem, though - as readers learn from the chapters that switch between "then" and "now." Clearly, both Lisa and Kat have serious issues - secrets from their past that led to going their separate ways and staying apart for the past decade. And before too long, it becomes clear that Nick may have a few things in his background that he's been reluctant to share as well. The action is almost nonstop, although it got a little bit bogged down when Kat's paranoia kicks into high gear (but then, you know the old saying - "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you"). The last few chapters bring one twist after another - none of which I guessed ahead of time, BTW - eliciting an out-loud "Whew!" from me at the bottom of the final page. As I proclaimed early on, this one's a winner, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys psychological thrills. Many thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
PegGlover More than 1 year ago
The Surrogate is an intense and cleverly crafted psychological crime thriller. This brilliant novel has so many surprising twists in it that I never saw the final one coming. And, what a twist it was! Kat desperately wanted to be a mother, but sadly, she couldn’t become pregnant. Her supportive husband, Nick, agreed with Kat, that adoption was probably the best way for them to proceed. But after two failed foreign adoptions, the couple was emotionally spent. Everything was looking hopeless, until Kat’s estranged best-friend, Lisa, showed up and offered to be a surrogate. Kat took her friend’s offer as a positive sign and readily agreed. Nick’s lawyer and friend, Richard, however, didn’t think it was a wise decision at all and strongly counseled the couple against it. But Kat was adamant, and so the surrogacy process began. Kat started to doubt her friend’s integrity, though, after Lisa consistently made excuses as to why Kat couldn’t accompany her to the doctor. Lisa was harboring a dark secret, but then again, so was Kat, and Nick, as well as their lawyer, Richard. What would happen when these dark, ugly secrets came to light? Nothing good, that’s for sure. The Surrogate is an engrossing and compelling novel. I read the book in one day because I couldn’t put it down. It’s intriguing, intense and completely captivating. Thank you, Bookouture and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy!