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Saturday 28 April 2018

The Confession by Jo Spain

A man walks into the living room of wealthy banker Harry McNamara and his wife, Julie, one evening while they are watching TV and is beaten to an inch of his life, while Julie, frozen with shock, does nothing. Within the hour, the attacker, JP Carney, hands himself into the police and confesses to his crime.

This is the scene set at the very beginning of the book. So, of course, we know who did it. What we, the readers, need to now know, is why.

DS Alice Moody and her team investigate what possible motive, JP Carney might have. McNamara was a wealthy owner of a bank, accused...but cleared...of fraud a few years earlier, one who came out of an economic collapse somewhat unscathed and probably with an arm’s-length list of enemies. Is JP one such embittered enemy that he was forced to commit a life-sentencing crime? What possible other motive could he have?

This is an outstanding psychological thriller…a whodunnit in reverse. Everything about it was on point: the plot (twists, turns, roundabouts right to the end), the writing (sharp, precise, real), the characters (I loved the dynamic of the police team, and Spain has a talent of making you feel a gamut of emotions for characters whom you expect to hate), the dialogue (credible, witty, charged, dramatic, poignant). It was tense, absorbing and faultlessly gripping.

The chapters are shared by three POVs: DS Alice Moody, JP and Julie. And we have to discover how a loyalty stretched to its limit, an abusive and neglectful childhood, grief and dishonesty play their part in a carefully planned murder.

If all Jo Spain’s novels have you hooked from page one like this one, then I’m looking forward to reading more by this talented author.

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