Adventures, book review

Believe Me by JP Delaney – book review

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Claire Wright is an attractive young British woman with aspirations to becoming a successful actress in the US. She is obliged to succeed in the States rather than return to the UK (for reasons that become apparent during the course of the book), but Claire has no Green Card. However, an opportunity presents itself to help her subsidise her acting career – some work for a divorce attorney. But the job is a queasy one: she is to act as a honey trap for errant husbands.

Claire sees it as an extension of her acting career; she is a woman of seductive charms, and men fall like nine pins before her. But then she encounters Patrick Fogler, whose wife, Stella, she has already met. He is an academic with an almost obsessive predilection for the erotic poems of Charles Baudelaire. Patrick resists Claire’s attempt at seduction, but later the same evening, his wife is discovered savagely murdered in a hotel room (Delaney has based elements of the plot on a real-life entrapment case involving a brutal murderer).

I subscribe to Audible so listened to this book while I made curtains and I could not stop listening – it took about a day and a half – where I think I was barely breathing! I even managed a pile of ironing as I had finished the curtains before finishing this book.

I loved The Girl Before so I was eagerly awaiting the publication of this new novel and what a rollercoaster it is. If you loved, Gone Girl or Girl on the Train then this is along the same lines although in a league of its own!

Delaney keeps the pace up -right though the novel, it is suffocating, intense and dark – Claire is flawed, but above all, she is a survivor. She does what she needs to do to get by, and isn’t that what we all do?

Set in New York but with a central English Character is delightful change, I can relate to Claire – in many ways – the way she evolves to fit in. We all play roles, especially women –  wife, lover, daughter, employee,  which one is the real us?  Delaney uses this theme to explore it to deeper, darker depths.

I love the way psychology is also exposed for its overly simplistic blanket approach – the connection with BDSM and sexual violence is explored and dismissed. Delaney gives us much more of a subtle exploration of human psychology that is masterful in its unravelling.

I had heard the name, Bau de Larre before but I began to wonder if I might read some of his poetry when the characters were quoting it, but then I was afraid to!

I am in awe of this writer, his tales are masterful – engaging, breathtaking and thrilling.  The perfect wife. another of his novels is on my wish list… but need my heart rate to recover before I go on another breathtaking adventure.

 

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book review, Books

The Girl on the Train – Book Review

The Girl on the Train review

Brilliant read – the pace of the book never slackens as the stories unfold. There is an honesty about flawed characters; the three women in this book are all struggling one way or another and the theme running through is how women punish themselves.

I read a lot of reviews about the book before I bought it  – a lot of them stated that none of the characters were likeable, but I really felt for Rachel – yes she is an alcoholic, but as we travel through her story I had a lot of sympathy for her.

This is a story of hope,  I was only a third of the way in and I realised just how blessed my life was – Rachel’s loneliness seeped off the pages. She was at her lowest ebb and while she might have done awful things, I believe she was trying hard to please everyone around her. Imagine going to London by train every day and hanging about in Libraries because you don’t want your flatmate to know you have lost your job. She never burdened Cathy (her flatmate) with any of the pain she was suffering, why she was drinking, she carried her burdens alone. Its pity that prevented her from opening up, when you are at your lowest ebb, pity is unbearable.

Despite being labelled crazy, dismissed and scorned, she is very brave, she tries to help people, Scott, and Anna, even though they treat her with such contempt. Rachel does pull her life together the ending was very satisfying and hopeful.

Paula Hawkins writing is excellent, this story drew me in, the characters portrayed so well – and the pace relentless. It takes talent and skill to pull that off, I can’t wait to read more, for a first book this is an astounding achievement.