I read Adele Parks’ first book Playing Away several years ago. I know it was a ‘freebie’ but I can’t remember the exact provenance. I think it was from a general freebie website. It was before I became a bona fide reviewer and blogger! I read it. I didn’t like it! It was chick lit as I remember. So when I received a proof of Both of You I wasn’t overly excited. But….. oh my…… I have to say I struggled to put it down. What a twist, half way through the book! Never saw it coming!
I will say that elements of the chick lit genre were evident in some of the narrative, characterisations and detail but overall this book is as far from that as you can get! A deliciously dark, twisty tale of extensive subterfuge. Of paradoxes and moralities . Of conflicts and desires. It’s going to be hard not to give anything away. So I am practising restraint. As I progressed through the story I had narrowed my suspicions down to maybe two or three people and it was one of those I suspected! The plotting is complex and well executed. The potential for plot holes was immense but I didn’t find any. I struggled with liking some of the characters. And I guess one of the challenges of the book was considering my feelings towards the ‘victim’ (I use the word loosely because it’s questionable as to the nature of what makes someone a victim and I’m desperate not to expand for fear of giving anything away).
Structurally the narrative is offered through several people’s different points of view. which made for an interesting read as you have to bear in mind that perceptions vary from person to person. Salient points and facts are revealed as the book unfolds offering clues for the reader to try and piece together what happens and how it could happen.
The ending is inevitable, not wholly unexpected but no less devastating when you read it. The reader questions the states of minds of several characters and left wondering what might possibly happen next. It’s possibly a far fetched premise if you are desirous of fictional realities but it was, for me, completely absorbing and entertaining.
Review by Gill Chedgey
Published by HQ (27 May 2021)
Hardback, ISBN 978-0008395599