Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce #review

Title: Blood Orange
Author: Harriet Tyce
Publisher: Wildfire

Synopsis:

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.

Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

My Rating:

I had been wanting to read Blood Orange for ages but finally got around to picking it up, interested to see if it would live up to the hype I’d heard.

My thoughts on this novel are: it’s a really entertaining, addictive read – but beware, the characters in this are all rather unlikable. This includes main character Alison. Especially at the start of the book, I thought she was behaving in a really poor way and making some shocking decisions – but as the novel continues, you can see why things are the way they’ve become with her husband and her colleague Patrick, so I did grow to like her a little more.

There is a strong theme of domestic violence in this novel, not only with Alison’s client Madeleine (Alison is a barrister) but with other characters too, and sexual assault is also a big part of the plot. The novel shows how insidious domestic abuse can be, with lots of thoughts of ‘did I bring this on myself?’ and self-doubt making it horrible easy for the people in question to wield their power over others. Even those we think would notice this happening to them, suddenly realise they have been a victim of abuse, showing how easily this can happen.

The plot itself is a little unbelievable at times – the ending in particular – which, for me, took away a bit of its impact, but there was nothing in there that made me want to stop reading, and I raced through the book in no time at all. Despite the unlikeable characters and some parts being quite easy to predict (or some twists being a little too much!), I still found this novel very readable because the story unfolds quickly with lots happening and plenty of suspense.

Ultimately, I think Blood Orange is an easy, quick read that is pacy, surprising and entertaining. I’d definitely read more from this author in the future.

Rating: 3.5/5

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