Guest Review from Diarmaid McCaffrey.
This psychological thriller revolves around Alice - funnily enough - who works as a painter, or more specifically, paints portraits of her clients. (Which allows her to notice small little intricate details people, a nice little trait interwoven within the novel). One faithful day, Alice’s husband Ed doesn’t come home, and she is unable to contact him, setting off alarm bells in her head and questions in her mind. At the start of the novel he appears to be a loving husband who saves lives on a regular basis, but as the story goes on its clear things aren’t what they appear with him.
The characterisation of protagonists in his book is phenomenal. In particular the character of Ed. While his disappearance sets off the events of the book, his presence is felt throughout, to the point where, even without personally knowing him, we feel like we do, sensing his disappearance as rather unusual; out of character for him and even in his absence he seems to go through a character arch. The book eventually builds and builds the tension until it reaches a heartbreaking climax where Alice needs to make a heartbreaking decision.
The story itself is mesmerising, to say the very least. There’s almost a rhythm to the plot, like a well-crafted song. It ebbs and flows in right places; building upon themes like trust, regret, and emotional wounds, trying to get over them; all explored in great detail; all building up to a fantastically set up twisty-ending that offsets the novel perfectly, yet seems to come out of nowhere.
On the whole, T.A. Cotterel’s What Alice Knew is a fascinating book. It contains a tense and unnerving narrative that slowly but surely rises to a crescendo, that is sure to stay with you long after the last page is turned.
What Alice Knew is published by Black Swan and is available in PB and ebook format. You can order your copy, with Free Worldwide Postage, HERE. The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below: