Fiction set in USA and EUROPE: the life of Maria Callas
Novel set in Bristol (Who can you trust?)
20th February 2016
Death Comes First by Hilary Bonner.
Six months ago Joyce’s husband died whilst out sailing. Now she has received a letter from him, written before his death, which turns her life upside down. He writes that she should take the children and run away from everything and everybody – but doesn’t explain why, or how she is going to get her teenager to agree to that.
After this dramatic start, the book follows Joyce as she tries to make sense of the letter, and continue looking after her family – at a time when everyone is still struggling with the grief of losing a father/husband. As her distrust of everyone around her grows, more drama happens and things get worse and worse, until the police become involved – but can Joyce trust the police? I can say no more without giving the plot away.
This book is all about who can you trust, and whether you really know the people you think you can trust. How much goes on in the lives of those that you love, those that you see every day, that you have no idea about?
Most of the events are seen from Joyce’s point of view; there are occasional forays into the thoughts of other characters. Tension builds as Joyce struggles to ensure the safety of her children and wonders who can she turn to?
This is a clever psychological thriller – not a scary book that will make you leave the light on at night. The tension builds up slowly, and I became as intrigued as Joyce as to what was going on. A page turner as the thrills and twists develop, and suddenly there is a whole new level of mystery and interest added.
The characters are well drawn and interesting, and the plot – set in Bristol, is easy to follow. Joyce lives in a gated housing estate, with her family close by. A wonderful place to live, or a gilded cage?
There are plenty of twists and turns in this thriller, and just as I thought I had worked out the mystery, new developments showed me to be wrong.
I really enjoyed this book, and was drawn into Joyce’s life and worries. A great read; my first by this author.
Emma for the TripFiction Team
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