Sunday, 31 May 2020

Short post on a chilly morning...

It’s me again!  I know you’ve heard from me a lot this week, but I wanted to write a quick post about a book I finished yesterday, since I know that if I wait until next week, I will have completely forgotten about it.  So, in order to restore some sense of normalcy, on this bright chilly morning, I have a welcome cup of steaming chai and a Date Bar as I write this post. 
After finishing the Agatha Christie mystery last week, I picked up a debut psychological thriller I received as an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher a few weeks ago, An Inconvenient Woman by Stéphanie Buellens.  This novel is told from the points of view of two women, one scarred by loss, grief and guilt, the other driven by the desire to right wrongs.  Claire Fontaine is a freelance French teacher and grieving mother who is convinced that her ex-husband Simon, now engaged to another woman, is setting out to commit the same crime he committed when married to her, and she is determined to stop him before this happens.  Sloan Wilson left the LAPD after her father was dismissed on bogus corruption charges and has set up her own business as a “sin eater”, a fixer or cleaner - she takes care of other people’s messy situations.  When Claire tries to warn Simon away from his bride-to-be and her young daughter, he hires Sloan to do “whatever is takes” to make this problem go away.  Claire may be paranoid, but how much of what she suspects is true?  And how far will Sloan go to keep Claire away from Simon until his wedding day?  I initially thought that I was not going to enjoy this book, that it would be too similar to other books I’ve read like this, as it had many of the same features:  unreliable female narrator, inconclusive evidence of a crime that may or may not have been committed, rich, charming, confident male character.  But once I got past the first couple of chapters, it was surprisingly interesting, a real page-turner.  It certainly wasn’t one of the best books I’ve ever read, but it was at least as good as A J Finn’s The Woman in the Window or Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door - I didn’t love either of those ones, but they got great reviews and were best-sellers, so I’m sure this one will be, too.  This novel is due out in September, and if you enjoy books like the ones mentioned above, then I think you would enjoy this one, too. Buellens is definitely an author to watch. 
That’s all for today.  Stay safe, stay warm, and keep reading!
Bye for now...
Julie

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