There’s the obvious story. And then there’s the truth.
Alex lives a comfortable life with his wife Beth in the leafy suburb of Silver Vale. Fine, so he’s not the most outgoing guy on the street, he prefers to keep himself to himself, but he’s a good husband and an easy-going neighbour.
That’s until Beth announces the creation of a nature trail on a local site that’s been disused for decades and suddenly Alex is a changed man. Now he’s always watching. Questioning. Struggling to hide his dread . . .
As the landscapers get to work, a secret threatens to surface from years ago, back in Alex’s twenties when he got entangled with a seductive young woman called Marina, who threw both their lives into turmoil.
And who sparked a police hunt for a murder suspect that was never quite what it seemed.
And it still isn’t.
The Only Suspect is another example of an addictive, gripping read from Louise Candlish, weaving together two timelines to tell the story of various characters: the very private Alex and his wife Beth, and Rick who is desperately in love with the elusive Marina, a woman who works in the same building as him.
I loved the way this book tells a great story even without the sense of mystery (which I loved)! I found myself completely absorbed by both storylines, wanting to know what would happen to Alex and Rick. I really enjoyed reading about the 90s as we follow naive but sweet Rick. Meanwhile, the present-day narrative focused on Alex, who definitely has his faults, but which kept me intrigued as to how the characters could be connected…
The plot felt believable, which is a real skill, I think, for any thriller writer. All too often I’ve felt like a book is just too dramatic or ridiculous, but The Only Suspect felt perfectly balanced. Louise Candlish also creates – as with all her books – an effective, creeping sense of unease in the clues she leaves for readers. I didn’t want to put this book down.
With some great twists and the standard of writing, I’ve come to expect from this author, The Only Suspect won’t disappoint you!
My rating: 5/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest review.