The Passenger – Lisa Lutz

The Passenger – Lisa LutzTitle: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
Publishing Info: March 1, 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 29, 2016

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.
She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.
It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?
With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.


I’ve been a fan of Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files series since before I even started blogging (which is right around four years now… wow!) so I was really excited to see that a new book from her was coming out! I was so intrigued that THE PASSENGER was much more thriller and quite darker than the Spellman books since part of what I loved so much about the Spellmans was their quirks and sense of humor, but I had confidence in the writing that I grew to love and couldn’t wait to try out something new from her!

THE PASSENGER was certainly a wild ride. I started and finished the book in one day, finding it really hard to walk away from! It’s definitely more thriller-like and if you’ve grown accustomed to Lisa Lutz’s humor, note that this is quite the step outside of that box. I really enjoyed that though! I always find it refreshing to read two very different-feeling books from the same author and appreciate how well they can pull off two very different styles. THE PASSENGER was thrilling, dark, mysterious, and really did keep me on the edge of my seat.

The book did start off a little choppy for me. Since it’s much more fast-paced, the very beginning of the book really set the tone with short bursts of information and action. It felt a tad rushed to start off like that right of the bat but I quickly got into the rhythm of it and it ended up working out really well for the non-stop action that made up the rest of the book. I did feel like the book was missing just a little something that I can’t quite put my finger on… I think I was hoping for a more emotional connection with the main character (she tries on many different names in the book so I’ll go with Tanya for the review). There was definitely a ton going on and with being on the run, I totally understand how she ends up shutting her emotions down a bit but I did feel like I didn’t quite make that connection with her.

The publisher’s note in the beginning of the book sets up quite the expectation, commenting on an ending that readers will be buzzing about so immediately I was intrigued! THE PASSENGER sets up the story with a question right off the bat: Is Tanya somehow responsible in her husband’s death or was it just an accident? Of course, THE PASSENGER is about so much more than this incident that kicks off the story and several other questions about her popped up along the way. With all of the pieces of the puzzle that come to light and my natural affinity for trying to guess the endings of mysteries, I was wondering the whole time just what in the world was going on. The ending was very much a surprise for me, which I always appreciate! I truly did not anticipate that conclusion so that was really exciting. I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it and how it really affected how I felt towards the book but it didn’t lack in surprise!! I did wish that a few more clues had been revealed slowly throughout the book. There was basically a chapter that explained everything about Tanya’s past which was helpful and did a great job at tying everything up but I also felt like readers could have been eased into a little bit more so there wasn’t so much information dropped at once. I’m glad that it was very thorough, though, and everything was clearly laid out!

THE PASSENGER was an exciting ride and I’m glad I picked this one up to be a part of it! The ending was definitely a shock and while I did wish that a few more clues had been scattered for me, I’m really glad that I hadn’t been able to guess Tanya’s secret past all along! It’s not my favorite adult thriller but I think it’s definitely worth the read if you’re looking for a good one!


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

the passenger gr update


Tanya/Amelia/Jo/Emma // Character Obsessions: Secrets, running, survival. 
Tanya certainly kept me on the edge of my seat! I didn’t quite connect with her as much as I had hoped considering she was the main character and the narrator of the story but I also understand her predicament from hiding things for so long. I think she didn’t even know herself or her own emotions anymore and it was hard for her to even fake them at this point.


Kept Me Hooked On: Cross-country thrillers. I loved the fast-paced action in this and normally I don’t get hooked on books that take me from place to place but somehow it worked for me in THE PASSENGER!
Left Me Wanting More: Clues. I really am glad that I wasn’t able to guess anything as the book went on but I also like being just a teensy bit less in the dark. I would have loved to have pieced something more together by the end instead of a whole chapter to fill me in!

Addiction Rating
Read it

If you’re a fan of thrillers, this was a fun one to read! It was so quick and I read it in a single day.



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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2 thoughts on “The Passenger – Lisa Lutz

  1. Laura@125Pages

    I really enjoyed The Passenger as well. It kept me engaged and curious. I met Lisa Lutz a few weeks ago at TFOB and she was funny, kind and very gracious. I have not read any of her other books, and she did say this was quite a change, so I would be curious to read the others to see their voice.

  2. Kay @ It's a Book Life

    I like that the ending surprised you, since as a fellow reader I know that doesn’t always happen as often since we read so much. Next time that I am in the mood for a thriller I may just have to pick this one up. Thanks for the review!


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