The Couple by Sarah Mitchell

This was a novel with a great twist, and some seriously intriguing characters.

At first, I felt that the story was a bit random and directionless. Claire, the focus of the novel, is extremely hard to understand or relate to – although this makes her more interesting in some ways, it also means there is a sense of lack of direction.

However, once the story builds, all I can say is Oh. My. God.

The intensity of the relationships between some of the characters, and the seeming innocence of Claire in the midst of such crimes really hooks the reader in. Claire is so well-written, the reader starts to feel simultaneously more and less connected from her, if that’s even possible!

Mitchell also provides some flashbacks from the perspective of an unknown character, but one which I assumed I knew. The revelation as to whose perspective this is from really shocked me, and from then on the story just keeps building.

The twist at the end is so unexpected, I actually think it overshadowed the rest of the book, but it’s one of the best twists I’ve read in a while. The seeming slowness of the first half of the book all makes sense once you get to the end, and this is definitely a novel which builds and builds to its best right at the end.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone, and it’s for sure a 5 star read, if purely because of the brilliant ending.

Credits:
The Couple
Sarah Mitchell,
Bookouture, 5 Feb 2019

The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne

This was a really gripping story, with a clever switch between two timelines. Both the main female characters were fascinating, with Rebecca’s decisions hard to fathom until nearly halfway through the novel.

As the letters that Nicole wrote to Rebecca in the past are gradually revealed, the weird atmosphere around Richard and his daughter Olivia is slowly exposed for what it is, with an unexpected twist that left me truly shocked.

I loved the switch between timelines. It meant that the same revelation happened at parallel moments in the novel for Rebecca and Nicole. The build up to the major events of the novel was doubly intense because of this, and I loved their different perspectives and seeing the different decisions they chose to make.

I also found Richard one of the most interesting and multi-layered characters in a suspense novel like this that I’ve read in a while. His aloofness and seemingly perfect nature at the beginning slowly unravels as we learn more and more, and I loved this gradual wearing down of his persona.

Olivia was also a fascinating character, and definitely not what she seemed at first. I loved the development of her personality and her chilling thoughts about the women her father dated.

This whole novel has a great story, with a really intense build up and a shocking twist. All four main characters are fascinating, and the relationships between them are layered and complicated. Rebecca in particular, is one of the best and strongest characters I’ve read in a while.

Credits:
The Second Wife
Sheryl Browne
Bookouture, 29 Jan 2019