Today I am very excited to be part of the blog tour for Your Word or Mine, an addictive twisty novel from Lia Middleton. Read on to find out what I thought!
When 15-year-old Anabelle King was assaulted on her way home, she thought she had done everything right. But a vital piece of evidence meant that the jury let her attacker go.
Eighteen years later, Anabelle King is now Ava Knight, a successful barrister who always follows the rules. But that all changes when, one day at court, she reads a familiar name in the file: Michael Osborne. But this time he is the victim of an attack, and in the dock is a young girl: Lily Hawthorne, who pleads guilty without hesitation.
Ava is sure that Lily’s plea is not the truth. She knows this man is not innocent. But as she gets more entangled in the case, how much will she have to risk to uncover the truth?
Your Word or Mine is a brilliantly crafted legal thriller that you won’t want to put down.
We follow the main character, Ava Knight, who I really warmed to, as she runs into the man who ruined her life: Michael Osborne. Osborne raped her as a young girl and got away with it when the key evidence was contaminated, bringing the trial down to her word vs his. Now, as an adult working as a successful Crown Prosecutor, Ava discovers that – although Osborne is not in Court because he’s committed a crime, but rather because a troubled young girl, Lily, stabbed him – he might have attacked Lily, provoking the crime in the first place. But Ava’s tactics for finding out and protecting Lily are certainly not approved…
This thriller makes for really addictive reading. We get chapters from eighteen years ago interspersed with the present-day happenings, so we find out more about the original case where Ava (or Annabelle, as she was known then) was raped, and this makes for tough reading. We also get various chapters from Lily’s point of view, and these are similarly heartbreaking and shocking. I love books told from multiple points of view, and it really adds to the story here. The characters in Your Word or Mine all feel well-developed and intriguing, and the tension kept building…
There are some great twists in this novel which made it even harder to put down, and it made me sit back and think about I’d react in Ava, or her family’s, position. It’s also a stark reminder of how devastating it must be to go through a horrendous experience like Ava has, and then watch the man who did it to you walk free and your own life and family destroyed – a huge downside to the justice system.
The pacing is just right – fast and addictive without feeling rushed – and the mystery of what actually happened to Michael the night he was stabbed adds an extra layer of intrigue. Plus I find books about the Crown Prosecution Service really interesting, so it ticked SO many boxes for me and I raced through this one. I think that even people who don’t usually read this kind of genre would really enjoy Your Word or Mine – it’s very readable. Highly recommended!
My rating: 4.5/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Michael Joseph, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lia Middleton is a barrister who specialises in crime and prison law. Her experience
working for the Crime Prosecution Service and on the Rape and Serious Sexual
Offences team inspired her to write Your Word or Mine. Lia wanted to show the
aftermath of a case collapsing because of the loss of evidence – what happens when
evidence is taken away, and you are left with just two voices?