Blood Orange By Harriet Tyce – A Review

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication Date: 21st Feb 2018

This is one of those books that you see other bloggers receiving and get a touch of the old green eyed monster descending over you. At least I did. I was then hella lucky to receive one of the precious orange hued boxes in the post containing this beauty.

Despite this book not being released until February 2019 I dived straight in! (And I’m writing this review in September 2018 BUT it won’t be published until next year which will be NOW as you’re reading this! Crikey that was some Back To The Future type trickery right there!).

I’ll tell you about the book now eh?

Alison, to all intents and purposes has it all. A devoted husband, a perfect little girl Matilda and a job as a criminal lawyer. However things are never quite as they seem (of course not, this is a thriller after all!). Alison is struggling under the weight of a secret. She’s been having an affair with a colleague named Patrick. A man who seems to only want her for quick, rough sex on his terms. Alison knows this is wrong, she knows she’s endangering her marriage and home life but she feels an indescribable pull towards Patrick.

Alison drinks too much, works long hours and puts herself in risky situations with Patrick. Carl her husband has had enough of her ways and is embarrassed about her behaviour, especially when she’s been drinking.  He fears for the safety of his daughter whilst she’s in Alison’s care and makes Alison feel like a failure at being a mother.  An accusation she refutes.

When Alison is assigned her first ever murder case, a domestic incident in which a woman has murdered her abusive husband, Alison begins to question her own relationships. How can she extricate herself from Patrick’s hold over her, and who else knows what she’s been up to?

This is one of those thrillers that pulls you in right from the start. If I didn’t have a job to go to and children to keep alive I would have sat myself down and devoured this in one sitting. It’s everything I adore about a good thriller without being cliched. It has an edginess to it, the like of which I’ve not read in a thriller for a long while.

It is dark and gritty and doesn’t shy away from difficult topics. The writing is stripped back, real, visceral (hate that word but it fits!). And it has the added perfection of not only a pacy plot line to keep you gripped but absolutely fascinating characters that you want to sit down and study.

Alison as the main protagonist is not exactly a likeable lady! She’s essentially putting her family at risk for the sake of a cheap thrill but I did feel for her as I watched her slowly begin to unravel. The drinking, the recklessness all serving to make her difficult life all the more tumultuous.

The men in this story will absolutely make your blood boil! Mysoginistic, controlling beyond words and domineering. But fear not! The women are ballsy and strong and ultimately make you feel empowered!

The author Harriet Tyce spent the best part of a decade working as a criminal barrister in London and whilst you can certainly tell she knows her stuff, she doesn’t ram the legalese down your throat. Something I was very grateful of. I was also happy that the main murder trial that Alison was working on was not the main focus for the story. I’m not a huge fan of courtroom legally stuff (correct terminology I’m sure) so having the murder case as a thread running through Alison’s story was perfect for me.

This story did grip me from the start but my god, the final chapters were what that little ‘hands clasped on the face shocked expression’ emoji was made for! At one point when Alison is having a conversion and something starts to dawn on her, the cold realisation that she was experiencing I was feeling too! Brilliant!

If a pacy, gritty thriller is your bag then trust me, you need to get your hands on this one ASAP!

Such an accomplished debut by the author. I’m excited to read more from her………..has she written another book yet?…….how about now?…….now?……

Thank you as always to the publisher for the arc.

See you soon.

Bookish Chat. Xxx

13 thoughts on “Blood Orange By Harriet Tyce – A Review

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