In an effort to make a dent in the (ever-increasing) pile of books I’ve read but not yet reviewed below are two short reviews for The Liar’s Chair by Rebecca Whitney and Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick.
Author – Rebecca Whitney
Published – Jan 2015
Genre – Psychological thriller
This debut psychological thriller has a gripping opening – a woman driving home to her husband, having spent the night with her lover, kills a man in a hit and run accident. Despite her attempts to keep the incident secret, she quickly confesses to her husband what has happened and he arranges for the matter to be ‘dealt with’ for her.
What soon becomes clear, though, is that this is no normal relationship and while they give the appearance of being a happy, wealthy and successful couple, there are some control issues in their relationship. While Rachel becomes more and more obsessed with what she’s done her husband attempts to exert more and more control over her.
There has been a trend towards fiction which features unsympathetic characters and The Liar’s Chair seems to fall into this category – I didn’t like and couldn’t feel any sympathy for, anyone. I felt that Rachel’s belief that she was suffering from psychological abuse by her husband wasn’t convincing, and with the exception of one or two incidents the events didn’t support this.
Not for me I’m afraid.
Author – Marcus Sedgwick
Published – 2014
Genre – Historical fiction
This is quite an odd story and Sedgwick’s first adult novel after a successful series of Young Adult / Children’s fiction. The story follows Charles Jackson, a man who glimpses something horrific in the basement of of museum outside Paris shortly after the Liberation. He becomes a consultant haematologist and by chance he has the opportunity return France in 1951, and he takes the opportunity to return to the site of the encounter. Although he is disappointed at what he finds, he is beguiled by a young woman who he encounters by chance and then (coincidentally) he sees her with the mysterious man from the museum basement. From then on this is a gothic story of obsession – with the woman, with the man, with blood.
There is a mystery here – what is it that Charles is following, what lies at the root of his obsession? Sadly, however, I didn’t really care. As with The Liar’s Chair – I could neither empathise with him, nor was I convinced of his motivation.