To be published April 2015
A remarkable debut in the vein of Before I Go to Sleep—and already an international sensation—Disclaimer is a brilliantly conceived, deeply unsettling psychological thriller about a woman haunted by secrets, the consuming desire for revenge, and the terrible price we pay when we try to hide the truth
Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day she became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew—and that person is dead.
Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day . . . even if the shocking truth might destroy her.
Disclaimer starts with an interesting and rather unusual premise. A forty-something happily married woman, Catherine, finds a book in her house. She starts reading it and slowly begins to see that it is all about her and her secret past. The author is a retired teacher, who is on a mission to make Catherine pay for the past and to ruin her life. Catherine and the teacher, Stephen become obsessed with each other. What has Catherine been hiding?
The book was at its strongest when we heard from Stephen and could see how he has become a victim of hate and obsession. As a character, I felt I understood him and could sympathise with him much more than Catherine. I was impatient to see what the big secret was with Catherine and to make sense of her strange reactions. It was Stephen who kept me reading. I was willing Catherine to just talk to someone.
My main fault with the book was the ultra slow pace initially and the time it took to actually find out what was in Stephen’s novel. I became impatient for things to come to ahead. Anyone who struggles with the first part should keep reading to see where it goes.
It was very readable and thought-provoking. It is a poignant reminder of how secrets can be damaging. I thought it was a solid read and I am sure it will appeal to many fans of psychological thrillers out there.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my review copy.