Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

Reviewed by Elaine Simpson-Long

This book kept popping up I my Twitter feed with recommendations and exhortations to ‘Read this Fantastic Book’. I am rather contrary so I ignored them all until I decided well everyone cannot be wrong, so I gave in and opened my copy.

I opened it up. ‘OH NO,’ I scream it is written in the present tense. I am sorry but I really really have a thing about novels written in this tense. It feels so unnatural. However, I soldiered  on. And you know what?

After two pages, yes two, it DID NOT MATTER. I was hooked.

OK, so after all this preamble what is it all about?

According to the blurb, ‘Alison has it all: loving husband, daughter and a career on the rise – she is about to defend her first murder case. Why is she risking everything for somebody who treats her with no respect?’

Alison’s client killed her husband. Stabbed him to death. She is found sitting by the body covered in blood and makes no attempt to deny she is guilty.  She seems curiously fatalistic about it all. Alison and her work partner, Patrick, interview her and gradually tease out of her the true story of her marriage, which was not as perfect as it appeared. OK now here I have to say I guessed straight away what had happened, I have read far too many crime novels not to, but that was fine, no worries I wanted to see how it would work out.

Patrick – now Alison is having an affair with him. He is a womaniser, untrustworthy and treats her like dirt. And somebody knows she is involved and is sending her nasty vicious texts about it.

So we have a tangled web of deceit and lies and Alison trying to balance these complications and cope with her marriage which is slowly falling apart.

Right, I cannot go on any further without delving into the plot and the ins and outs and I do not want to. I would make a poor fist of the intricacies and I also think it best if you nip out or go online and buy this book and sit down and read it yourself. Just bear in mind the murder victim, what a nasty piece of work he is. Contrast him with the wonderful Carl, Alison’s husband, who looks after their daughter and runs a clinic for sexual disorders. Look at the parallels and wonder.

Enough.

I read this book straight through in two hours on a day when I was in the grip of some lurgy and not feeling well. I could not put it down. My tea went cold and I forgot I was feeling lousy. I was totally gripped. And the ending! Oh boy, what an ending. Though I had my suspicions I was not prepared for this and I have to say I sat up in bed pumped my fist in the air and said ‘YES!’

Compelling, page turning and simply terrific, this book has garnered great reviews and raves from everyone who has read it.

After reading it I went on Twitter, immediately began to follow Harriet Tyce and started to harass her. ‘WHEN is the next book coming out?’ I tweeted. ‘I am working on it,’ she says. Oh good.

All I can say is, ‘Well get a move on’.

Brilliant.

Elaine blogs at Random Jottings.

Harriet Tyce, Blood Orange (Wildfire, 2019). 978-1472252753, 336pp., hardback.

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