What an absolute riot this book was! My first Rebecca Chance and I have already ordered her entire back catalogue. Pure fizz and sparkle – I loved it!What an absolute riot this book was! My first Rebecca Chance and I have already ordered her entire back catalogue. Pure fizz and sparkle – I loved it!
Caroline, a bored office worker and book blogger, can’t believe her luck when she is asked to ghostwrite the autobiography of the most famous reality TV star in the UK – Lexy O’Brien. Lexy shot to fame 20 years ago on a TV dating show and is now married to a premier league football player, has two bratty kids, and lives in a mansion. Unable to curb her wild ways and doing anything to keep in the paper, Caroline knows that writing Lexy’s memoirs will be a blast, only she’s not quite prepared for the green-eyed monster that not only rears its head but ultimately plots Lexy’s downfall…
I’ll be honest here, I never expected to pick up a Rebecca Chance book. Not because I’m snobby about what people read (I’m a champion of people reading full stop, without judging their tastes), but just because I can’t stand the world these type of people live in. I don’t watch much reality TV (TOWIE, Big Brother, Love Island etc.) and I can’t stand those magazines, the likes of which body shame on the front cover and are choc full of scantily-clad, fame-hungry wannabes inside. So what the hell happened?
Less than a month ago, I read my first Tasmina Perry book on a whim, never having read anything quite like that before. Since then I have devoured three more and, drawn by the glitzy cover, decided to pick up Rebecca Chance’s latest too. I must be in the mood for pure escapism because that’s what these books are and I’m having so much fun reading them.
There was never a dull moment in Killer Affair. I entered a world I didn’t know existed and have been simultaneously shocked, thrilled, delighted, enraged and stunned. What particularly tickled me were the references (sometimes only thinly veiled) to people I thought I recognised which got me wondering how close to the truth some of it was (see, there is a gossip in me after all…). It was certainly an eye-opener, put it that way.
I bloody loved this book. It put me somewhat in mind of Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal (which I also bloody loved). Alternating between the voices ofI bloody loved this book. It put me somewhat in mind of Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal (which I also bloody loved). Alternating between the voices of Olivia - successful author and TV-personality, attractive, nice houses, large family, and Vivian - bitter, jealous, lonely, plain, elderly housekeeper, The Night Visitor sucks the reader into a claustrophobic chokehold of deceit and secrets.
While Olivia Sweetman should be riding high on the massive success of her latest book, she is acting strangely fretful and on edge, and Vivian, her research assistant has mysteriously vanished at a crucial moment. With absolutely nothing in common, Olivia and Vivian's lives have become interwoven through work, but increasingly uncomfortably and obsessively so. Set mainly in East Sussex and the south of France, the story of these two very different women is filled with symbolism, usually of the creepy-crawly variety, which was a very clever way to expose many character flaws in both parties.
There were several gasp-out-loud moments for me in this book. Not the gratuitous or macabre kind, but much more subtle and a feeling of being sucked into a vortex of manipulation and deceit. It was difficult to know who to trust at times and difficult to know who the characters themselves could trust also.
Shining a light on feminism (and cleverly done, might I add), this exceptionally well-plotted book exposes our culture and how we believe things to be. But as Vivian points out: just like the dung beetle, never underestimate someone you think is below you.
Absolutely brilliant! Creepy and compelling edge-of-your-seat reading at its best. Often disturbing and unsettling but always absorbing and engrossing. Massive thumbs up from me!...more
I have long been a fan of Sharon Bolton. In fact, I’ve read every single book she’s written (which surely makes me a super-fan?). I know I’m in for aI have long been a fan of Sharon Bolton. In fact, I’ve read every single book she’s written (which surely makes me a super-fan?). I know I’m in for a treat when I settle down with on of her books, and I’m pleased to confirm that I haven’t been let down yet.
Dead Woman Walking starts in a balloon ride early one morning. A group of 13 people (which includes a couple, several hikers, a family with teenage children and two sisters, Jess and Bella, who are two of the main characters in this book) are enjoying their ride when they witness a crime on the ground below which ultimately turns their tranquil flight into the trip of nightmares. When the balloon fails to arrive back and the police are eventually called, what they find is a scene of carnage and devastation and a flight that wasn’t simply a crash, but a deliberate attempt to bring the balloon down.
Once the victims are accounted for, the Police realise they are one body short. From here, what ensues is a cat and mouse game between victim, Police and someone else who is just as determined to find her, although for entirely different reasons. I really don’t want to say any more than this as it’s best to read it and find out for yourself as you go along.
There are several plot twists in Dead Woman Walking and I did actually guess them all. I think I must read too much crime fiction as I constantly find myself playing detective and pick up on every little thing (particularly something that seems slightly out of place or almost irrelevant to the developing plot, as I often find that it is there for a reason in the end). Despite this, it did not detract from my enjoyment of the book and it was still as satisfying to find out my theories had been right (although I confess, I love it when I don’t see something coming).
Verdict: Another belter from Sharon Bolton. Fantastic plot, great characters (the nuns were fantastic! – it was like watching the end of The Sound of Music when they sabotage the Nazi’s car). Short chapters, great forward momentum and a fabulous array of characters = a page-turning romp of a read.