Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Believe Me

Author: J.P Delaney
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Suspense
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Double Day Canada
First Published: July 24, 2018
First Line: "My friend hasn't shown yet."

Book Description from GoodReadsIn this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

Disclaimer: This Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

My Rating: 2 stars (ie. 'meh')

My Review: I was initially drawn to this book, my first by author J.P Delaney, because of the unique premise of a struggling actress being hired to ensnare cheating men. 

There is a murder and the now garden-variety unreliable narrator which leaves the reader to wonder the identity of the culprit. Twists are thrown in, the plot progresses but by the half way mark I was losing interest for a few reasons. The characters are categorically unlikeable, there's waaay too much mention of Baudelaire (and his 'Les Fleurs du Mal' BDSM poem) and I wasn't a fan of the sadistic slant of the plot. Not my cuppa tea. There's also this odd 'screen play within the story' aspect that felt forced and was more than a little distracting. Unfortunately, as the book progressed, my interest in the characters' lives and the 'who dunnit' aspect withered until I really didn't care how it ended. 

I was underwhelmed by this book. The plot had good bones with its twists and manipulations but overall the execution was shaky at best. Believe me when I say … I wish I had liked this book more.

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