Review: Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Here we have it - the most hyped thriller of the year (and certainly the most readily available - I'm sure I've seen this book in every single shop known to man). I have steadily been going off of mainstream thrillers. Since the Gone Girl days have passed, everything that now claims to be 'for fans of Gone Girl' just don't hit the right buttons for me. And frankly, they're lying. They end up being very disappointing. I'm not gasping at the end of every chapter. I would never have read this book had it not been for my bookclub selecting it.
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise - she's just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems...
Alison drinks too much. She's neglecting her family. And she's having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
But someone knows Alison's secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she's done, and who won't stop until she's lost everything....
As much as this plot feels familiar (a dub of Apple Tree Yard); a high flying lawyer as a main character, in her mid forties, has a gaslighting husband, and is somewhat of an unreliable narrator as she drinks too much, as well as there being a colleague that crosses sexual consent boundaries...wow, it's got A LOT in common with it. I don't know if this is necessarily a bad thing, as many of the mainstream thrillers use the trope of a middle aged woman who drinks too much in her loneliness and depression - clearly this is something readers look for? Having said that, enjoying Apple Tree Yard, set me up nicely to enjoy Blood Orange. There was a lot of gratification that shouldn't be discredited on how fast I was able to zoom through this read. It was very easy reading - certainly something I would recommend to people wanting to get into thrillers. I could go all out and tell you to read American Psycho, but you probably wouldn't thank me if you weren't used to gory reading. This isn't that. It's a beginner thriller - but it did it excellently! The characters all have an air of sliminess about them. You're never too sure on whether they are good or bad (apart from the ones that are obviously bad). This is always a preferred trope. You don't need to like the protagonist to like the book! There were some good twists, none of which you ever needed to overthink as the book was too fast paced to give you the time to figure anything out. Overall, I'd definitely recommend Blood Orange if you're looking for some fast paced and inexpensive thrills (this book is honestly EVERYWHERE!) Despite having gone off of these types of thriller, this one was able to restore my faith, and for that, I am very grateful!
Initial Prediction: 3.5 stars
Final Rating: 4 stars
Publication Date: 10 July 2019 (my edition: 26 December 2019)
# of Pages: 336