Monday, May 18, 2015
Disclaimer by Renee Knight
Catherine Ravenscroft has a secret. She has kept it hidden for decades and by now she can tell herself it never mattered anyhow. She has a great job at which she excels, a successful marriage and a family. She and her husband have just downsized after their son is out on his own. Of course, it's not the job Catherine would have chosen for him and they had worried about whether he was doing as well as some of his peers, but all in all, everything is great.
But Catherine has an enemy she didn't know existed. She discovers this when a novel is sent to her house and she picks it up and starts to read it. There is the usual disclaimer at the beginning that no one in the book is based on real characters, but the disclaimer is a lie. The book is the story of Catherine's secret, the one she thought no one else knew. Now it is in print for anyone to read and put the pieces together to identify her. Catherine is made ill by the situation, and must now hide not only her secret but her reaction to it.
But her enemy is not done. He is determined to destroy Catherine and soon the secret is affecting every aspect of her life. Her marriage, her relationship with her son, her work are all affected. Is there anything she can do, or must she sit quietly and watch her life being destroyed?
This suspense novel works. The structure is perfect for the gradual revealing of the mystery. It moves back and forth between the past when the secret occurred, the recent past and the present when the secret starts to unravel. As the time periods move closer, the suspense is ratcheted up a notch, over and over and over. The twists and turns and gradual revealings are full of surprises for the reader and they question if what they know is the truth, or if like a kaleidoscope, a shake reveals a totally different picture. The author works for the BBC writing scripts for various projects and her expertise is evident throughout. This book is recommended for mystery and suspense readers.