Book Review – Disclaimer by Renee Knight

Well, I’m here. It starts today. My regular posting feature. Well, as regular as Gene’O allows me to be! Before I jump in to what I’m here for I want to do a very brief hello kind of paragraph (or three as it turns out), because it seems rude not to, and then I’ll get on with it. Most of you will have already probably seen the post Gene’O put up introducing me, so I’ll keep this short.

I’m Rebecca Bradley and I’m a crime writer and obsessive tweeter and blogger – other platforms then lag behind, though I’m now trying to build my YouTube presence. Did you know YouTube is the second biggest search engine behind Google? I’ve just released my first novel, I’m an avid reader of multiple genres, I run various themes and series on my blog as Gene’O does and I generally meet myself coming backwards.

Why am I here then? To talk about books! I’ll talk about any kind. I have a NetGalley account which is a place where book reviewers have access to titles before they are released. I also borrow from the library, buy books from bookstores and buy more books than I’m ever going to read and load them onto my kindle. So, shall we get on with the show? Please don’t boo me off… I’m starting with crime, but it won’t always be crime.

Disclaimer by Renee Knight

Genre; Crime (Psychological)

23346719A remarkable debut in the vein of Before I Go to Sleep—and already an international sensation—Disclaimer is a brilliantly conceived, deeply unsettling psychological thriller about a woman haunted by secrets, the consuming desire for revenge, and the terrible price we pay when we try to hide the truth

“Disclaimer stealthily steals your attention and by the end holds you prisoner—a searing story that resonates long after the final page. The best thriller I’ve read this year.” —Rosamund Lupton, New York Times bestselling author of Sister and Afterwards

Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day she became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew—and that person is dead.

Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day . . . even if the shocking truth might destroy her.

My Thoughts:

This was one of my Netgalley reads, so thank you to them, the publisher and author for my copy. Disclaimer is not released until 9th April.  As you can see from the quotes above the official book blurb, this has a lot to live up to. It’s been compared to the hit of 2011, Before I Go To Sleep, which last year was turned into a top Hollywood film starring Nicole Kidman. So no pressure then.

It’s told in alternate chapters between Catherine Ravenscroft, in third person narrative, who is living a wonderful life with her husband. They appear to be fairly well set up financially, they both have good jobs but their son has issues. He has had a drug problem in the past and is just holding down a job in a store as a salesman.

The other chapters are first person narrative from an old man called Stephen. They’re sad chapters to read. All is not good in Stephen’s world and at first we don’t know how the two different chapters connect.

Catherine recognises herself in a book she reads, and this is where her world starts to crumble. She doesn’t understand how this has happened or how the book came into her house. She becomes jumpy as the ending of the book is not a pleasant one for her character. To try and hide from what is happening she burns it but her husband catches her and becomes suspicious of her behaviour. We then start to see how the two alternating chapters work together. So it’s a bit of a slow start. But when you do learn what has happened and what is happening you want to keep turning the pages.

The narrative voice of the novel is beautiful, it keeps you hooked. It’s smooth and sensory.

The twist at the end is not pretty. It’s ugly and makes you squirm. it’s certainly not what you expect. I just wish Knight had finished up sooner. She spends too long tidying up and it detracts from the novel, gives you too long to calm down and come to terms yourself with what happened. A shorter tidy up of characters lives afterwards would have left you thinking about this long after you finished it.

If you like to sit down with a well written psychological crime novel, this is a great read with a fantastic premise.

Now I have to go off and wonder about what to read for next month and I’m looking forward to coming back!