BELIEVE ME

FOUR STARS
  • Author: J.P. Delaney
  • Publication date: July 24, 2018
I felt the author’s previous book, The Girl Before, was well written; but, for an architectural mystery based on minimalism, it was a big ole mess –structurally speaking, of course.😊

I really like BELIEVE ME. I was absolutely crazy about the first 2/3 of this addictive story. The plot had me second guessing my way through. Sadly, the last 1/3 just went so overboard it got ridiculous. I have a hard time understanding why the author (actual name: Tony Strong) wants to throw in everything he knows about his subject. It’s too much. He overshot that line of believability and my five star rating dropped to a four.

This novel is mostly set in the theater world and our main character, Claire, is a young actress trying to make a living in NYC and eager to do anything to pay her rent. I think Claire is one of my most favorite unreliable narrators in recent memory. She’s not a drunk or a sociopath or is she? We never know because she is ALWAYS acting. How CLEVER is that?

The performance aspect of her personality is a refreshingly innovative way to style an unreliable narrator! Hmmmm. Talk about “method actor method actor method actor”.

Some scenes come alive in Claire’s head in the form of an actual written play. At first this can be confusing, but you’ll catch on quickly. When she gets into serious trouble by being accused of murder, the real fun begins! This is a cat and mouse game with lots of twists.

BELIEVE ME is sophisticated, slick, beautifully written. It’s a dark and addictive book, just know an over the top ending is waiting for you!

Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book before publication on July 24, 2018. All opinions are mine.

OBSESSION

5/5 stars

  • Author: Amanda Robson
  • Publication date: 5.4.2017
  • Avon Books

Armchair psychologists, REJOICE! This is your book! Take out your pen and paper because your skills are needed to DIAGNOSE a mental patient.  The only issue is to decide WHICH character is mentally obsessive and potentially homicidal. 

This book is so deliciously dark, I’m tempted to say something corny like “Your only obsession will be with this novel.” I would never say that.

BUT IT IS SO FREAKIN’ GOOD! I could not do anything else except glue my eyeballs to every page until I finished it off. Whew! You lucky reader, this mental rollercoaster awaits you. This is my kind of book, a deep character study and a sense of dread coming with each plot turn. You have no idea how this will end, but you know it is not going to be a happy one.

The novel starts innocently enough when Carly drunkenly asks her husband “Who else would you go for, if you could?” Oh Carly. Why did you ever have to ask that question? Rob’s answer is like a dagger to her heart and brain. The die is cast, fates are sealed, destiny is determined. An obsession starts growing roots.

The story is presented from each of the four character’s P.O.V.  The chapters are short, but the book is long. Get ready to go in deep. Scandalous, frightening innermost thoughts are revealed and it’s not pretty. Downright uncomfortable. I find it so fascinating to compare a person’s thoughts with their contrasting behavior.

It’s been awhile since I read a psychological suspense that contained so many graphic sex scenes. But I didn’t find it to be gratuitous, since one of the characters suffers from a sex addiction and it is pertinent to telling the story.  I just point it out as a minor warning if you don’t want to read sex. Besides sex and drug addiction, you may be surprised to find yourself reading quite a bit about God and religion, medical professions, and child rearing. Listen, I told you! This book goes deep. No subject is too sensitive or off-limits for this author to tackle.

I’m really excited, if you couldn’t tell, to recommend this book about two couples with a “schizophrenic” relationship between all four members. Just when you think you know who is obsessing, who is the unreliable narrator, who is just an ordinary flawed human, you have to start all over again because until the very last page, you don’t know for sure.

This is Amanda Robson’s phenomenal debut novel. It has been the #1 e-book all summer in the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The US publication is scheduled for September 19, 2017. Many thanks to Harper Collins for allowing me to read the ARC via Edelweiss. Opinions are mine.

About The Author (taken from her website)

After graduating, Amanda Robson worked in medical research at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine, and at the Poison’s Unit at Guy’s hospital where she became a co-author of a book on cyanide poisoning.

This has set her in good stead for writing her debut novel, Obsession, a dark and twisted tale about love affairs gone wrong.

Amanda attended the Faber Academy writing course in 2011, and now writes from home full time. She lives in London and Wales, with her lawyer husband, one–eyed dog and unfriendly cat. Her two sons, also lawyers, have more or less, fled the nest.

Obsession Amazon