Believe Me

Believe MeBelieve Me by J.P. Delaney, Tony Strong
on January 1st 1970
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two-stars
Believe me when I say, this was not my cup of tea.

Claire is a struggling actor looking for work. Her one main obstacle is that she British living in the United States without a green card. This makes getting a job quite difficult and one does need money to survive.

She finds a job which will pay her cash. She works as a decoy, hired to entrap cheating spouses on tape. There are rules that need to be followed, the spouse withe the wandering eye needs to proposition her, and she needs to get it all on tape. Then one day, the wife of a suspected cheater is found murdered. The police believe her husband is to blame and have Claire help them get his confession.

The premise of this book sounded extremely interesting to me. Like a cat and mouse book where one often questions just who the good guy is and who is the bad guy. I so wanted to enjoy this, and I will say that I did enjoy it in the beginning and then things went downhill for me. I found myself losing interest and didn’t really care who was telling the truth, who wasn’t, who was acting, who wasn’t, etc.

I enjoyed the Author’s other book “The girl Before” and was hoping to be blown away by this book as I was by that book. Sadly, I just did not connect with this book. Yes, it is well-written, but I just didn’t care about any of the characters to even care what happened to them. There are some twists and turns along the way with lots of lies, deceptions and revelations. Even with the twist and turns I was underwhelmed by this book. I may be in the minority on this one but it just felt flat to me.

At times this book is written like a play (or maybe a script) in keeping with the part of Claire being an actress and giving performance. There are also a lot of quotes from Baudelaire’s Les Fleur du Mal (his book on S&M Poetry) thrown in.

The Author does note that she wrote and published this book years ago and she re-wrote it after her book “The Girl Before” became a best seller.

Thank you to Random House Publishing-Ballantine and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

two-stars

The Girl Before

The Girl BeforeThe Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
Published by Ballantine Books on January 24th 2017
Pages: 320
ISBN: 0425285049
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four-stars
Received from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Holy Moly!

Rules Rule Rules you must follow the rules!

This is a unique psychological thriller that had me turning the pages. This book tells the story of Emma before and Jane Now. Both women who have had traumatic things happen to them in their lives and through a long application process are able to rent One Folgate Street. A home built by an eccentric architect who suffered the loss of his wife and son. The home is very stark and occupants must abide by a very long rental agreement.

Emma

Emma moves into One Folgate Street with her boyfriend, Simon, after a break in at their home. Soon things start to change and Emma begins a relationship with the strange, handsome architect.

Jane

Jane moves into One Folgate Street after a traumatic loss. She finds the home to be interesting but not as interesting as the architect and the story of the loss of his wife and his relationship with it’s former occupant, Emma.

I loved how the chapters flipped back and forth between the two women’s stories. This made the book a very fast read. Things never got dull. There really is not down time in this book. No long descriptions, no wordy prose. It was actually quite nice to read a bit about one woman in the past and then read about the other woman in the future. Sometimes when books have multiple POW’s being told it gets tedious. Not in this book. This is this books strong point IMO. Though going back and forth in time and reading each woman’s POW, it soon becomes apparent that the two women are tied together somehow. Even the house itself is like a character in the book as it is built to learn about them and to help make them “better”.

Not everyone is as they seem in this book. I really loved that aspect. Who is telling the truth? Who is the wolf in sheep’s clothing? What really happens? Who can we trust? I really enjoyed the twists and turns.

This was a very fast read. Very enjoyable and well thought out. Is it the best book I have ever read? No, certainly not but it is a very enjoyable book. Sometimes it is just a pleasure to sit and read a book that grabs one’s attention, is entertaining and makes one think.

I will definitely be reading more by this Author.

four-stars