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Friday 24 April 2020

Believe Me by J P Delaney

A psychological thriller in three parts, this is quite the page turner…for two of those parts. Just when you think it's got nowhere to twist, it twists again in the last section. 

Claire is British, in the USA, working as an actress, or rather, struggling to find work as an actress, and badly needs a green card. To provide herself with an income while she's 'resting', she takes a job with a divorce-law firm as a decoy to catch out errant husbands: easy money for a couple of hours' work. She's then offered a biggie: to entrap the husband of a wife who has been brutally murdered. This time not to catch him out for infidelity but to nail him for her murder. But then, when she starts falling for him, the operation goes sideways. 

The second part is a thrilling twist to the first, but then the third just loses sight of the plot and is rather over the top and devoid of any credibility. 

According to the author, this was a manuscript he'd tucked away for nearly twenty years after it got poor ratings on its first release. Undeterred, he revamped it, hoping for better success. I wouldn't say he should have left it in the drawer. On the contrary, it's certainly got legs, but I think he tried too hard second time round. I'm wondering whether a few tweaks might have been adequate rather than the overhaul he apparently gave it. Moreover, this was a male author first-person-narrating a female character. He didn't quite nail it…Claire's character was rather soulless, bland, sexless almost.

A decent writer, nevertheless and you'll enjoy this psychological thriller if you're prepared to suspend disbelief.

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