Tuesday 30 October 2018

BELIEVE ME by J.P. Delaney

Claire Wright likes to play other people. 

A British drama student, in New York without a green card, Claire takes the only job she can get: working for a firm of divorce lawyers, posing as an easy pick-up in hotel bars to entrap straying husbands. 

When one of her targets becomes the subject of a murder investigation, the police ask Claire to use her acting skills to help lure their suspect into a confession. But right from the start, she has doubts about the part she's being asked to play. Is Patrick Fogler really a killer . . . Or the only decent husband she's ever met? And is there more to this set-up than she's being told? 

And that's when Claire realises she's playing the deadliest role of her life .

I really enjoyed THE GIRL BEFORE, so I was looking forward to reading this author's next book.

Claire is an aspiring British actress whose unprofessional behaviour led to her burning all her bridges in the UK. So she moved to New York for a second chance.

Now she's a drama student by day and works for a lawyer firm at night. She doesn't have a green card so her work options are limited, and as low as entrapping married men can be, at least she's earning some money to pay the rent.

When her latest target's wife turns up dead in a hotel room, Claire's world gets turned upside down. The police suspect the husband, and recruit Claire to play the most dangerous role of her life. But when she immerses herself in so many lies, how will she be able to recognise the truth?

This book is incredible. On so many levels. 

One of my favourite things was whenever Claire's POV switched to script format. Not only did it highlight how easily she slipped from real life to pretend, but it amped up the intrigue and heightened the tension.

Claire was such an unreliable narrator. A liar. A con artist. Someone willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. And she's totally obsessed with acting. So much that for her, it's not so much a profession but a way of life.

There were so many reasons to dislike her, but I didn't. Of course I didn't trust her, doubted her every motivation, and even questioned her sanity. But I never disliked her. Never wanted to abandon her story, and desperately needed to follow her to the end.

The other thing I really enjoyed was the use of poetry to base so much of the depravity in the book. As well as the sick individuals so desperate to keep the poet's words alive. “Les Fleurs du Mal” by Charles Baudelaire sure sounds twisted.

Believe Me is an intoxicating, twisty psychological thriller about a bunch of characters who build their lives on lies. Lies to catch criminals, lies to stay in character, lies to hide childhood pain, and lies to justify their shocking actions. But you know what? This made for some riveting reading. The kind that kept me glued to the pages until I got lost in what was happening and questioned my assumptions every step of the way.

There were so many times when I wondered: what the hell is going on? Other times where I caught the shift, and marvelled at how clever the story was. Wow. And the intricate web of lies is only strengthened by the awesome writing, as well as the astonishing conclusion.

I'll definitely be reading more/all the books written by this author.

Believe Me, July 2018, ISBN 9781787472419, Quercus

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