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Thursday 3 August 2017

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

A psychological suspense thriller this certainly is. The plot is ridiculously implausible, but okay, it’s fiction, slack must be cut, but I found myself wrestling with its increasing implausibility as it went on.

Jake and Alice are very much in love, and when they marry they're given the most unusual wedding present: membership to a club which ensures their marriage will be long and strong. Seems like a bit of fun, so why not? And they sign on the dotted line. Little do they know, however, that they're signing themselves into a living nightmare.

The club….’The Pact’…is based on a manual of encyclopaedic proportions listing the dos and donts of marriage. That right there started my cynical clock ticking…some ridiculous rules and regulations. Failure to adhere result in barbaric…and disturbing…punishment. So why don’t Jake and Alice leave, you may ask? One doesn’t. One does not leave The Pact.

It was very well written…in a style that ensured gripping suspense. There were definitely a few matchstick moments late at night as I eagerly turned the pages, and despite having to suspend disbelief, this isn't far off being a first-rate thriller, but the ending was a let-down. I was niggled by the present-tense narrative of the story; it just didn’t work, and that was endorsed by the inconclusive ending.

Can I recommend it? Despite my misgivings, yes, I think I can. It’s taut, it’s tense and I have to say it’s addictive. Try it and tell me what you think!

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