Friday, 19 August 2016

Book Review - The Loving Husband

What they say:

For fans of Apple Tree Yard and The Silent Wife, The Loving Husband draws readers into a marriage where nothing is as it seems...
For better, for worse, to love and to cherish, till death us do part...

Fran Hall and her husband Nathan have moved with their two children to a farmhouse on the edge of the Fens - a chance to get away from London and have a fresh start.

But when Fran wakes one night to find Nathan gone, she makes a devastating discovery. As questions about her husband and her relationships start to mount, Fran's life begins to spiral out of control.

What is she hiding from the police about her marriage, and does she really know the man she shared her bed with?

What I say: 

I just finished reading this novel and decided there were only two reasons I read it to the end. One, because I was given the copy via Net Galley for my honest opinion and two because I wanted to know how the author was going to end what I thought was a convoluted yet annoying plot.

I don't read many thrillers but for me this one was not up there with some I've found really entertaining reading. As I've seen some three to five star reviews for this book out there, I must have to conclude that this one was not for me.

Firstly I felt nothing for the main protagonist, Fran, but annoyance. Fran's reaction to the discovery she makes about her husband in the first few pages didn't ring true and the constant need for the author to refuse to let her complete a sentence until very late in the book made it hard for me to get a sense of who this woman was, what she felt and what made her tick.

As far as supporting characters went, I found some of them cliched in the way they spoke and were described. Some of them I believed but I was not convinced by the character 'whodunnit' at all.

I'm one of these people who sits and watches films and notices when someone has a full cup of tea in one shot and has finished it in the next and by the end of the same scene there was no cup at all. I mention that because on a few occasions there were these little inconsistencies that just added to my annoyance.

To mention some of the bigger things that either didn't ring true or were far fetched would be to add spoilers so I can't say more on those.

Mostly the pace was too slow for me except for the ending which I whizzed through because the intrigue built quite well.

If you choose to read this book, you will enjoy the author's use of POV and time. But beware because Kent sometimes moves from past to present quite rapidly, blink and you'll miss it. I did like that touch as well as the way we saw through Fran and Ali's eyes - neatly done. You will also enjoy the strength behind Kent's ability to describe settings.

But in my honest opinion this is not the best thriller you are likely to read.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Book Review - Behind Closed Doors

What They Say:
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

What I Say: 
Every now and again I can't resist reading a book that everyone is raving on about and, because the price was down on this one, I thought I'd give it a try. Sadly I have to say I was a bit disappointed by the end, though. I read it quite quickly partly to get it over and done with and because behind the unbelievable and improbable plot lines there was a decent enough story that did have me intrigued.

I did like the writer's style which was easy, well paced and relatively light reading. I did enjoy the fact that the writer kept you guessing. So although you were expecting everything to resolve itself and for the victim to finally escape her fate, you couldn't guarantee that she would.

I liked the characters at first. They seemed to be well rounded but the leading male seemed to have me less and less propelled to believe his charming on the outside but psychopathic on the inside nature and the back story of how he became the way he was seemed an easy option to take and did little to build the tension as I'd heard it all before. Maybe that is unfair to say because after all what makes a person a psychopath? I suppose I just wish the author's take on it had been a little more original.

That said, I also stopped believing in the main protagonist because for an intelligent woman I can't believe that she was taken in by this man.

The supporting characters were convincing and went a long way to improving my involvement in the story.

All in all I would not discourage anyone from reading this book but in my opinion I think this debut is overrated - but that happens quite a lot doesn't it? I bet this will be a block buster film next year :)