Here are the elements which will help you with your analysis of the short story “Safe Enough” by Lee Child.
“Safe Enough” is a crime story with a circular structure. The story begins and ends in the present while the main events take place in the past. The structure includes important foreshadowing elements that point to the plot twist at the end.
The most important characters are Wolfe and Mary Lovell. Wolfe is the main character, and readers have access to his perspective. Mary Lovell’s characterization is mostly rendered from Wolfe’s point of view and changes from an angelic woman to a nagging partner.
The physical setting of the story is somewhere in the suburbs of New York. Both physical and social setting are constructed through contrast: between city and countryside, and between working-class and middle-class culture. The social setting also deals with gender issues.
The third-person narrator of the story has limited knowledge and uses the perspective of the main character.
The language used in the short story combines dialogue with narrative passages, which provide more information about the characters. Colloquial language gives the story authenticity, while similes and metaphors act as foreshadowing elements.
You can read a more detailed analysis in the following pages.