Digital Reads Reviews

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My review

I am going to be standing alone when I post this review. But since this is my journey into the book, I have to write my honest views.

I didn’t like the book for the reasons below, and I am going to try to attach proof to my statements.

As repeatedly done in psychological thrillers of late, the male main character Simon, the husband thinks nothing while undermining his wife, Marianne, calling her unstable, and blaming her for every infraction and every imperfection around the house. In the first half of the book, perfect was a frequently used word.

Dialogue from the book

1) I know a recipe isn’t a worry but it’s a torture as Simon’s a bit of a perfectionist.

2) I think back at the early days. I vowed I’d be the perfect wife and mother

3) I totally gave myself to this perfect family who needed me

In fact I counted, perfect word was used 78 times in the book!!

And you wonder what happened when she was not perfect? He insulted her, made her have anti-psychiatric medications, got angry with her when she doubted his fidelity and hit her in bed during sex.

After all this, the wife thinks

Dialogue from the book

1) I’m so lucky. I still love my husband after all these years. I love him with a blind passion that has no reason, no sense, and I’m aware that there are times when I should be stronger, but I’m irrational where Simon is concerned.

2) As a child I’d never dreamt a life like this could be mine and it’s all thanks to him – without Simon I have nothing. I am nothing.

3) We haven’t had sex for a while, but tonight he wants me… He doesn’t want me in a loving, gentle way, but he still wants me.

I do get it that Simon has chosen his prey well, and he takes undue advantage of her neediness, her lack of confidence, and her dependence on him.

As the wife justifies… Dialogue from the book

I sometimes wonder if it was my fear that Simon was drawn to. A flawed vulnerable woman who wouldn’t control him, as his mother always had.

The book continues on with Simon having his indiscretions and then she coming to know of it. Throw in a murder and a police investigation, a false charge, a suspicious cop and red herrings, it becomes a potboiler of a thriller.

I like Sue Watson books, they are fun and sweet, this is her first psychological thriller. And it follows the same formula as seen in most books of this genre. Insult and beat the wife + wife pushing back mid book + a murder = psychological thriller. Sighhhh… It’s so done. I am so done.

If I skim over such prose about Marianne’s thoughts which is nearly 50% of the book, then the next half has her taking action, which is okay. But her way of thinking even after proofs and confession from the mistress d’affaire does not change, she thinks she may be mistaken.

The thriller part is okay. My rating is for the basic plot line but the prose doesn’t work for me, the characters have the same way of thinking, doesn’t grow a backbone, the story is formulaic.

I really want to like the book, but it is too delusional for the main character and too illusional for me. I am sad and angry!! I hate when a book makes me feel so down.

If any fans plan to berate me in the comment section, Don’t!! I have given proof of the prose to prove my points.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Bookouture, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating : 2 stars

Book blurb

Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy.

Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother, growing up in foster care. But her husband Simon is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met.

Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline, gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.

In the old days, she’d have distracted herself at work, but Marianne left her glamorous career behind when she got married. She’d speak to a friend, but she’s too busy with her children and besides, Simon doesn’t approve of the few she has left.

It’s almost by accident that Marianne begins to learn more about Caroline. But once she starts, she can’t stop. Because what she finds makes her wonder whether the question she should be asking is not ‘should she be jealous’, but… ‘should she be scared’?

Product Details

Publication date : 11th October, 2018

Publisher : Bookouture

Disappointed me totally, I am sad!!

58 Responses

    1. Omg you think so? I kept going through this review but sadly enough I couldn’t change a word of it… I just couldn’t…
      I was just so sad after my review, I just slept off

  1. Ouch. I feel this author’s pain. To be dissed by Shalini is so terrible it makes you want to go dig a deep hole and hide forever! LOL. Just kidding. 🙂 I often wonder how many reviews out there are actually genuine. But I always know that yours are real. Thank you for being so honest, Shalini. I love your reviews. I know if you like a book, then I will too. And if you hate a book, I probably won’t like it either, despite what others may think. Thank you for being you, girl! (And thank you for keeping us authors on our toes. Your input is invaluable) Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

    1. Omg Leslie… You read this review… I was just so sad after writing this review. I went over it again and again and I couldn’t change a thing. My inner conscience didn’t allow it… I am the only one with 2 stars others have given 5…well I couldn’t give it
      (I cried after I wrote your feedback too)
      Have a fun weekend Leslie… And an absolute blast of a week filled with fun

  2. the characters have the same way of thinking, doesn’t grow a backbone <–this part right here had me LOL loved this honest review! Thanks for sharing Shalini!

  3. Ah I’m sorry this one made you so sad to review. I don’t really read psychological thrillers and even I feel like I’ve seen this storyline a lot based on reviews I’ve read around The blogosphere.

    1. See… There you go… This formula has been going on everywhere…
      I am channeling my college days, formula, sperm diagram, Jay’s skeleton (his book cover had one) now I am going to blog hop and find more medical remanents… I have seen a scalpel somewhere and blood on one of the other covers… Yayyyyy

  4. Love your honest review and your passion about it!
    Abuse is a vicious cycle and truly hard understand if you haven’t lived through it, unfortunately I have and really this characters reaction is pretty typical unfortunately! I have this book to read and I’m sure I will see it differently just because of my own personal experience…

    Hope your next read is a much better one!!!

    1. I understand what you are telling me. I have seen it in real life, I have seen all kinds of things which ideally no kid in the world should go through. But I also have seen how I have come through that.
      So it is possible that a woman in a fictional tale can come through it over the pages, and not just last 3 chapters. That was my point. Since this is a fictional thriller…

  5. It was a great wake-up call for me, because the blurb sounds nothing like the actual story you describe. I’m aware the blurbs need to be a great pitch, but now I will pain even more attention to everything else.
    I really dislike helpless characters. And that’s how she sounds.

  6. I like that, while you give your honest opinion of the book, you don’t berate the author or call her work bad. This has been a topic of discussion of late on Twitter among authors – which is why I love reading your reviews. No matter what, you still show complete respect for the authors and their hard work, noting your dislikes and adding that this does not change your love for the author’s work. ♥

    1. Thank you for these words… Chrissie, I have been berated by both authors and their fans, harassed me over a year, till I had to shut the comments on that post down. I don’t care now who writes the book, it all depends on what that book makes me feel. Now I am concentrating more on that. Rating is how book makes me feel. Many authors have abused me. Hence this review has warnings and I had to give proof of dialogues, otherwise by now, I would have got horrible comments.
      I have called author’s work as bad, when the story just makes no sense. I had a book which was an emotional read in the beginning till dinosaurs and weird stuff seemed to happen suddenly.
      So it depends on what emotion book incites.
      So I am pretty much strict more on traditionally published authors especially when they have a vast array of resources.
      Thank you for your words. I try to be kind, sometimes I am not when the book is bad

      1. Not all books are gonna be everyone’s cup of tea. And I wish that people would realise that we only provide an opinion of the book, and this does not necessarily reflect on the author as a person. I have stopped adding a rating, preferring the readers find out for themselves what the book should be. And I try to use the thirds step – something good, something I didn’t quite like, and something good. While this is still my honest opinion, the critique is not as harsh when you end with something you liked. Even if it is only the villian… ☺ You need to stay real and honest, we need more honesty in the world. ♥

  7. Wonderful honest review, Shalini. I totally understand where you’re coming from, and the dialogue you shared definitely made me flinch here and then. I did wonder where I had seen this author’s name before, right until you mentioned that she used to write stuff in a completely different genre before! Seems like this was a tough transition, at least from your point of view. Hopefully the author’s next book will be far more impressive! Again, great review! 😀

    1. Lashaan, thank you for commenting. Your first on my blog.
      Secondly, I understood wanted to show us abuse side of story but it has been many times in most books in the past few months. So I wanted a different kind of a story or maybe differently formatted…
      Thirdly, I got scared on some irrational way – are there only such men left on this earth?
      Well that was how my brain worked at midnight🙈😂😂

      1. Ah no, don’t worry about it. I’m pretty busy most of the time and finding the time to blog hop like most people do WHILE doing all the reviews and reading for the blog is extremely time-consuming. I’ve seen you around my posts, liking them more often than not, so I.. finally.. took the time to see what you’ve been up to yourself! 😀 I should be the one apologizing for being so absent hahah!

        Ehhh, men sure don’t get the whole knight in silver armour treatment nowadays do they? Hahahah

  8. This is a great and honest review Shalini. I don’t think I would be able to enjoy this one. I do not like when the female character is abused either verbally, mentally or physically and then thinks it is okay. Even when they fight back eventually, the beaten down part is too depressing and I agree, it makes me angry as well. Do not feel bad about being honest. I don’t think we ever go into reading a book not wanting to like it, so what ever the reader feels, it is their feelings. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. I understand… But since I had been harassed for another book by another best seller author for a year, I decided to go this way. So that facts can’t be refuted.
      I don’t mind abuse topic, but showing that a woman does not become stronger makes no sense. Why will I read the book? I have lots of real life people going through that..

  9. NOW who’s quoting the whole book?? 😘😘 Great review!! It may be an unpopular opinion, but I have a feeling I would have felt the exact same way!! Keep being honest, I love it!! 💖💖

  10. I found this book frustrating to read. I searched for reviews to see if anyone else felt the same way. Your summary perfectly described the way I feel about the book. I’ll have to check out your other reviews to find something better.

  11. I agree. I didn’t read the book, but I listened to it on Audible.

    Marianne annoyed me, to say the least. I felt like slapping her, but that wouldn’t have helped anyway, since Simon did it and that still didn’t knock any sense in to her head.

    In the end, I made myself finish listening, thanks to the wonderful voice performance of Katie Villa. Had I read the actual book, I probably would have abandoned it after the first few chapters.

    1. Oh yes. I had hoped they would have edited the repetitive words but apparently they hadn’t. She is a huge bestseller… Maybe that’s why

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