Source: Review Copy
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…
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
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.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
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….
Blood Orange is a smart, fast-paced thriller by Harriet Tyce; it is a novel that will really keep you gripped. It is definitely one to watch out for in 2019.
I was lucky to pick up a copy of this book at the Theakston Crime Festival in July, and it was one of the books I was most excited about reading, it didn’t disappoint. When I first heard about it, I thought that the title sounded very intriguing and it made the book stand out, which is one of the reasons it jumped right to the top of my TBR pile. I still haven’t forgotten that ending and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about it any time soon. It has an incredible plot twist that I didn’t see coming.
The protagonist, Alison has just been handed her first murder case, and she is hoping that it will take her career to the next level, but as she is caught up in trying to prove her new client’s innocence, her own family life begins to crumble. Alison is having an affair with one of her colleagues, which she is trying to stop, but she is finding this increasingly hard to do. And she is also under a lot of pressure from her husband who is accusing her of putting her work first before the needs of her own family.
Alison was such a great character. Harriet plays with the reader’s emotions towards her which is what I found particularly captivating as the plot evolved and it was done in a very clever way. As the novel began I felt I didn’t have a lot of empathy for Alison as she was cheating on her husband, but I grew to like her, and I was rooting for her towards the end of the book. The affair was one of the most gripping plot points of the novel as I continued to wonder if they were going to be discovered and what the repercussions were going to be for Alison. And there is also some very interesting character study, particularly, I thought in Alison’s new client. I won’t go into any further detail here as I don’t want to spoil the plot but I do think that Alison is a character who will divide many readers and prompt many discussions in book groups.
There are some tense moments as the story races towards its denouement but the hard truth at the end is what really hit and shocked me, and again I can’t say anything more, only to say that it was done so very well and it is so, so chilling. I can’t recommend this novel highly enough. If you enjoy a mix of legal and psychological drama, then I would definitely recommend Blood Orange, especially if you were a fan of Apple Tree Yard. I will be keeping an eye out for what Harriet writes next.
Publication date: 21st February 2019
Print length: 336 pages