Publication: 28th June 2018 by HarperFiction
Fatal Attraction meets Apple Tree Yard. This debut novel will be your new obsession.
Francine Day is a high flying lawyer about to apply for silk, ambitious and brilliant. She just needs one headline grabbing client to seal her place as queen’s counsel … Martin Joy. The attraction is instant. Obsessive.
They embark on a secret affair and Francine thinks she can hold it together. But then Martin’s wife goes missing. And Martin is the prime suspect. Francine is now his lawyer, lover and the last person to see Donna Joy alive.
As the case unravels so does Francine.
Jealousy, obsession, and love triangles. Twists and suspense. Friendship and loyalty. Unreliable narrator and multi-layered characters. This novel has them all. And I loved every page of it.
The protagonist of the novel is Francine Day. Raised in the North of England, living in an estate with her mother, stepfather, and siblings and step-siblings, she managed to get good grades, go to college, and to escape to London to be a lawyer. Now she is a family lawyer, dealing with divorces and custody arrangements. She works hard and she is really good at her job. She is respected and sought after by colleagues and clients and she is about to be appointed in the Queen’s Counsel. On the personal side, she has a few loyal friends and zero love life. And then, one day, she meets Martin Joy. He is handsome, rich, charming, and he is her new client. While helping him getting a divorce from his wife, Francine embarks on a love affair with Martin. And when his wife disappears, Francine was one of the last people to see her, but, because of a mix of medications and alcohol, she doesn’t remember anything about it (I do love unreliable characters in thrillers!). So, for the entire novel, the suspicion that Francine had something to do with Donna’s disappearance is always there, keeping the tension high, page after page.
I found the character of Francine well-developed, but frustrating. Her love for Martin quickly turns into obsession and she makes a series of bad decisions that spiral out of control and make you want to scream at her “What are you doing???”. The plot is dark, gripping, and full of twists and, even though I had my suspicions, I was completely taken by surprise when the truth was revealed at the end. With the tension always high, a cast of suspicious characters, and a gloomy atmosphere, I found myself completely engrossed in this thrilling and haunting novel
I’d like to thank Felicity Denham and HarperCollins for providing me with a copy of the book.