I’m going to start this review by stating that there was far more to this psychological thriller than I anticipated.
When Georgie agrees to have sex one drunken evening the last thing she could possibly have anticipated was the domino effect she’d set in motion. Rule number one which every woman who has left her teenage years behind knows, you don’t have sex with your friends. But Georgie did, she slept with her old university pal and confidante Julian.
Let’s just say that when Julian realises that Georgie doesn’t plan on repeating the exercise again, he doesn’t take it too well especially when he realises that Georgie has become close to a Russian man called Nikolai.
The scene is London in 2005 not long before the 7/7 terrorist bombing and the book accurately captures the mixture of emotions that swirled around at this time. Londoners defiantly showing that the terrorists wouldn’t stop them living their lives but a time where to be a foreigner meant that those around you became wary.
For Georgie and Nikolai the bombings coincide with their burgeoning relationship, but a relationship overshadowed by both the menace in the present of Julian’s hatred, and Georgie’s father’s disappointment at her choice of boyfriend and the past where Nikolai battles the nightmares of his time in the Russian army fighting the Chechens in the war. Georgie is also still recovering from a broken relationship and the disconnected relationship she’s had with her mother ever since she left the family home to live with her boyfriend in Spain. Georgie does have her wealthy and successful father’s support, although her job marketing dietary supplements is not quite as fulfilling as she would like her flat is a world away from the miserable room that Nikolai inhabits.
This is anything but a straightforward relationship, Nikolai tells her something of his past, why he moved from Russia to London but Georgie is sure that he is keeping something back from that time and she fears that this secret will tear them apart.
The author gives us a little of everything in this book. Sometimes that means that many of the elements are unresolved or worse simply the story becomes a mis-mash and is rendered dissatisfying; not Blind Side which proved to be a well-rounded and interesting tale putting some of the recent history of terrorism into a wider perspective. Curiously it complemented the non-fiction book I’m reading about the First World War with men fighting a cause they no longer believe in and see sights they would never forget for good measure.
With the story covering secrets and the inevitable lies that these give rise to, trust and it’s flip-side, betrayal as well as guilt, obsession and love, without skimming any of these subjects but rather, introducing the concepts and letting the reader really consider the messages that are being told through what was a gripping tale.
Whilst not the light-read that this genre usually pitches itself at, this complex tale was an immensely satisfying read.
About the author
Jennie is a Londoner descended from a long line of Irish folk. For much of her life she’s been a wandering soul, but these days she lives with her husband and their cuddle-loving, sofa-hogging terrier. As well as from reading and writing novels, she loves poetry. Her poems, published under another name, tend to inhabit the darker, sometimes surreal side of life.
While on an extended trip to Australia, Jennie studied journalism and worked as a freelance print journalist, covering topics from forced marriages to the fate of Aboriginal Australians living on land contaminated by the British nuclear tests.
When not chasing the dog, lazing in the garden with a book or dreaming about setting off on a long train journey with a Kindleful of books, Jennie can be found writing or doing Writing Related Stuff. WRS can include singing and playing the piano (vital for destress) and watching thrillers/spy dramas on TV (research). She’s working on getting her second novel ready for publication, a dark and unsettling psychological thriller.
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