The Passenger – Lisa Lutz


The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

This is one of those books which I am at a loss with. I was not sure for quite a while what this story is about. A young woman, let’s call her Tanya because she has a lot of names during the story, finds her husband’s body. He fell down the stairs and died. She has nothing to do with his dead though she really doesn’t care about his death. There is something in her past she is running from. So she leaves her husband lying dead instead of calling the police. She is afraid that they will find out something about her past when they look into the accident. She starts looking for a new identity. First she calls a mysterious man from her past. He provides her with money and a new name. Then she meets Blue, a young woman working in a bar. They become friends but it turns out that Blue is on the run as well. And she is capable of a lot of things.


The story is told from Tanya’s point of view. We are very close to her and her thoughts. At first I had a different impression of her character. I thought she was more dangerous and more unreliable. With the story going on her character was becoming a disappointment to me. I liked Blue more. She was far more interesting than Tanya. After they met things get more complicated. Tanya has to face the fact that somehow she became the woman everybody thought she was all along. That was a quite interesting thing and I liked that. I thought about that even when I was not reading and I also crept into my dreams. But I did not change the fact that I found Tanya a very flat character. We don’t learn much about the 10 years she was on the run so we don’t know much about what happened to her. She is an unusual character, I give her that. I could feel her loss and her pain that she had to leave everything behind. She leads a life she don’t want and trusts nobody. She has to do things she never thought she was capable of. She is incomprehensible, a mystery. But not in a positive way, it is more that this covers the flatness of her character. Blue was the more interesting character.


I liked reading this book most of the time. The pace is slow, it is not really a thriller. I was not very satisfied with the ending. To me this whole thing why she has to run away 10 years ago felt quite unrealistic. The way to revealing the secret was a bit exhausting. There was a lot of driving around in the cold (can somebody please explain to me why runaways in books always run to cold places? Why does never ever anybody runs to Florida?), a lot of hair dying and looking for houses to stay. But somehow it was entertaining and so a make it a 4 Star.

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