Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she's his perfect match.... And she loves his son, too.
When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. He ignores it; a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything. A brave, deeply moving psychological thriller which marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland's top crime writers.
©2016 Michael J. Malone (P)2016 Audible, Ltd.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
I have never had this experience before.
I read the reviews, and there were a LOT of 5-star comments. But I didn't understand what the book was about.
I THOUGHT the husband would discover a mystery about his wife. I did not understand that - on his way to learning her secret - he would be physically and mentally abused, repeatedly, in secret and then in front of their small children. I did NOT understand that - to get to the end of this book - I would have to watch this normal man reduce in size and confidence and personality. The humiliation was graphic and terribly disturbing, and it never let up. Even now, as I recall the first 2/3 of the book, my stomach has begun to hurt. I imagine that this is how one would feel if one were forced to watch a terrible person beat a defenseless dog for YEARS!
I do not know the ending, and I would like to find out if the husband and children escaped with any semblance of a life. But I cannot listen to one more word.
"A tough, but excellent book!"
This is an extremely good fictional story of one mans struggle as a victim of domestic violence. The issues the main protagonist stuggles with are spot on. At times, I found it genuinely heart wrenching to listen to, and I am no softie in the face of graphic descriptions. Despite this, I should say that it was never gratuitous it describing violence. This is my first book by this author, but it certainly won't be my last. The characters here are well drawn and the story (which is rich with characters and context) zipped along, being so well written that there is not a moment of padding. I did accuracy guess who may have 'done it (no revealing of what 'it' is), but I was not at all sure, and I did not see other twists and turns coming. Steven Cree's narration is also excellent. I highly recommend this book.
Absolutely loved this book. Bit hard to listen to at some points but highly recommend it.
"Made me think"
The usual interpretation of domestic violence is turned on its head in this novel. Andy's reaction to Anna's fits of rage was entirely believable, as was his reluctance to tell anyone of his predicament.
The author describes family relationships in a very straightforward way. Andy's mother's love of her sons and grandsons is in no way mawkish or sentimental. Andy and Jim's relationship is close but not stifling and undergoes changes that don't alter their bond.
During the period while Andy was keeping his situation to himself I was willing him to open up to someone who could steer him towards the help he so badly needed. When he finally did admit what was going on I was mightily relieved.
I seldom listen to a book in one sitting but had I been on a long car journey I would have been happy to listen to it all at once.
By including details of Andy's work situation the author added another dimension to his character. Sheila was an interesting and likeable character, although I doubt that Andy's future could lie with her bearing in mind their shared experience.
The narrator did a marvellous job (although to be honest a Scottish accent will always start in pole position for me!) in terms of pace and characterisation. He can portray old, young, male and female characters in a very effective way. I'll look out for him on other audio books.
Michael J Malone is a new author to me - I hope Audible will feature more of his work in the future.
"I didn't like the final quarter"
I wished Andy had done it.... the ending had turned into a cat and mouse chase rather than suspenseful psychological ending.
"reads like a secondary school essay"
From a huge audible library this is my second-ever poor review.
The writing - the vocabulary - the narration - all of it combines to present
a clunky, lumpy, patchy, two-dimensional tale. It really is a senior school essay; disappointing as the idea carries such promise.
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