11th January 2018
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my ecopy of this book
Harry McNamara and his wife Julie are watching television, at home, when a man calmly walks into their house and brutally murders Harry, as Julie paralysed with fear, watches in horror. A little later the same man walks into a police station and admits to killing Harry in an unpremeditated attack claiming that he didn't know his victim.
Knowing 'whodunnit' at the very start of the novel is an interesting premise as it allows not just a unique glimpse into the mind of the killer but it also lays bare the imperfections and cracks in the marriage of Harry and Julie. What then follows is a clever and twisted psychological thriller which puts under the microscope, not just the lives of Harry McNamara and his wife, but also the life and background of JP Carney, the man who is responsible for Harry's murder. And as the complex reasons for the killing start to unfold, so a story of lies, deceit and deadly secrets starts to emerge.
Of course, there is more to the story than at first appears and the lead detective on the case, Alice Moody, is determined to pick holes in JP’s story. She will leave no stone unturned and no suspicion unchallenged in her quest to find out just what motivated JP to commit such a seemingly random act of appalling violence.
The story abounds with a real sense of foreboding, and, as it skips around in time, so it exposes the complexities of the central characters and these are highlighted with clever precision, and a real sense of style. No one is beyond reproach, indeed not many of the characters are even remotely likeable, and yet, there is such a clever sophistication to the story that you can't help but find yourself taking sides, first with one character, and then another, until you don’t really know where your loyalties lie or who is telling the truth .
Rather unusually for me, I didn’t see the direction the story was heading and there were many times I thought I had it all sussed out only for the plot to veer off in a completely different direction, so the dénouement when it comes was , for me, a real eye opener.
Without doubt The Confession is a really clever psychological thriller with one of the best opening lines I have read in a long, long time. Shall I tell you what it is ….er no, read it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
Jo Spain is the author of the Inspector Tom Reynolds series. Her first book, top ten bestseller With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. The Confession is her first standalone thriller.
Twitter @SpainJoanne #TheConfession