Monday 13 February 2023

Review: The Usual Suspect by Louise Candlish

 Wrong time. Wrong place. Wrong man.

Alex lives a comfortable life with his wife Beth in the leafy suburb of Silver Vale. Fine, so he’s not the most sociable guy on the street, he prefers to keep himself to himself, but he’s a good husband and an easy-going neighbour.
That’s until Beth announces the creation of a nature trail on a local site that’s been disused for decades and suddenly Alex is a changed man. Now he’s always watching. Questioning. Struggling to hide his dread . . .
As the landscapers get to work, a secret threatens to surface from years ago, back in Alex’s twenties when he got entangled with a seductive young woman called Marina, who threw both their lives into turmoil.
And who sparked a police hunt for a murder suspect that was never quite what it seemed. It still isn’t.
No one else could have done it. Could they?

Review: This book was definitely a slow burn for me. The book takes place across 2 timelines and often I find that easier to read in physical or ebook form and so I started off reading the ebook but then when I switched to the audiobook, that was when I gelled with our protagonists and couldn’t stop listening until I got to the end. 

The dual narrative timeline aspect of the book was definitely one of my favourite things about it. The 1995 timeline felt so retro and some of the london i recognised from going there to visit as a teenager. Smoking indoors in particular lent a whole other level to that time and place. Rick takes the lead in 1995 with the beautiful Marina, who is like a siren in that she seems to be able to get Rick to do and say whatever she wants. Then we have Alex in the present day timeline. This timeline is definitely where the key bits of information are slowly given to you tiny nuggets by tiny nuggets before you're thrown back to 1995 and have to rethink the plot all over again. 

As usual with a Louise Candlish novel, there were moments where I gasped out loud. One moment in particular was such a juicy reveal that I had quite a lot to say about it whilst hoovering with my headphones on and my husband had to come upstairs to see if I was OK. So if that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for in your reading life then this book is definitely for you!

If we’re comparing this book to previous Louise Candlish novels, I would say that I think this one is a little less dark just because it is such a slow burn of a book but it plays with your mind in ways that I didn’t even think possible. It gets under your skin and into your head and you just don’t know who is double crossing who or if there’s anyone you can trust! I really enjoyed it and highly recommend the audiobook!

To order your copy now, just click here!

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