#BookReview: PERFECT TEN by Jacqueline Ward @JacquiAnnC @Corvusbooks

Perfect TenPublication: 6th September 2018 by Corvus Books

Caroline Atkinson is powerless and angry. She has lost more than most – her marriage, her reputation, even her children. Then one day, she receives an unusual delivery: lost luggage belonging to the very man who is responsible, her estranged husband Jack.

In a leather holdall, Caroline unearths a dark secret, one that finally confirms her worst suspicions. Jack has kept a detailed diary of all his affairs; every name, every meeting, every lie is recorded. He even marks the women out of ten.

Caroline decides it’s time to even the score. She will make this man pay, even if it means risking everything…

 

You know the saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”? Well, it perfectly applies to this novel. I was initially attracted to this novel by the intriguing blurb and I quickly found myself immersed in this story about revenge and psychological abuse.

The protagonist of the novel is Caroline Atkinson, an acclaimed researcher, good at her job and respected by her colleagues. However, on the personal side, things are not so good. Her husband, the man she thought she was going to spend the rest of her life with, has left her and he’s taken their children with him. Now, all Caroline has left is late-night shopping and wine. Until, one day, a mistake delivers to her door something that could change her life. She gets her hands on something that can destroy her husband and she sets in motion a plan that not only will destroy his reputation and his life, but she makes it so that he knows she is behind all of it but there is nothing he can do about it.

As the truth about her marriage slowly comes out, as the author describes in details the pain not only of a woman betrayed by her husband but also of a mother desperately missing her children, I couldn’t help but sympathize with Caroline and her plan of revenge. She could appear cold and emotionless, but she is humanized by her guilt and doubts as she continues with her plans, by her heartbreak over her children, and by her constant emotional dependence to her husband.

I loved that most of the novel is an internal dialogue that Caroline has with her ex-husband in which she explains to him all the ways she is going to make him pay. The multi-layered and complex characters and the gripping and twisty plot kept me completely hooked, from the first to the last page. PERFECT TEN is a dark and thrilling novel about domestic abuse, revenge, and privacy, it kept me glued to the page.

 

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