Books, General

Guilt | Review

Title: Guilt

Author: Amanda Robson

Rating: 3 Stars

Dates read: 25 Apr 19 – 28 Apr 19

Publication date: 19 Apr 2018

Publisher: Avon

Genre(s): Thriller, Psychological thriller

Description:

Your sister. Her secret. The betrayal.

There is no bond greater than blood . . .

When the body of a woman is found stabbed to death, the blame falls to her twin sister. But who killed who? And which one is now the woman behind bars?

Zara and Miranda have always supported each other. But then Zara meets Seb, and everything changes. Handsome charismatic and dangerous, Seb threatens to tear the sisters’ lives apart – but is he really the one to blame? Or are deeper resentments simmering beneath the surface that the sisters must face up to?

As the sisters’ relationship is stretched to the brink, a traumatic incident in Seb’s past begins to rear its head and soon all three are locked in a psychological battle that will leave someone dead. The question is, who?

*I received an eARC of this book courtesy of Avon and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review*

I am a big fan of thrillers, of psychological reads, of unreliable narrators, and was really pleased when I received the chance to read and review this book. The idea of the book jumping between timelines, after a traumatic event and leading up to said event, was hugely appealing, and the idea that it would be told from the point of view of twins really intrigued me. The book, however, fell short of expectation.

The dual timelines worked really well, and I liked the way the modern day was told almost solely from the point of view of the twin that committed the murder without giving away which twin was murdered and which was the murdered. The points of view in the past were really well used to show how different the twins were yet how close they were despite this, and showed the different paths the characters took to the murder.

I even liked the use of multi perspective. I am wary of reading a book that is told from different points of view. I often find them to be unnecessary and gimmicky, but was reasonably impressed that the story in the past was told bit by bit from the 2 sisters and the man who becomes between them. Their unreliability was fairly well done, and it created a very warped and hidden path to the murder that is the central pillar of the book.

I hated Sebastian, which I think is the reasonable thought process to have, and if I am being honest, didn’t really like either of the twins, which I definitely think impacted my overall enjoyment of the book. Yes, there were funny bits and moments that were interesting, but I found them to have irritating personalities, and just didn’t enjoy reading about them.

I also really struggled with the first person writing style. I think it’s really hard to do well and this book was quite painful to read in such a style. I know it was somewhat necessary for the unreliable narrator angle, but the incessant way in which the story was told became a little tiresome. It was also hard to read some of the actions in this way. There is a repeated scene featuring illness and vomiting, and another few times when one or more of the characters is sick and it is not something that is great to read in a graphic first person narrative.

One of the characters is also raped. While I appreciated the way this was approached in regards to the characters physical and mental state and how it scarred them after, the character relives this scene repeatedly. Instead of fading to black, the scene uses the same point of view and even wording, making it incredibly different. Yes, this highlights the character’s relationship with the event, and how much it changed their life, but repeatedly reading about such a horrific event from the victim’s point of view was unpleasant.

I think this book was alright. It had elements I enjoyed and thought were done well, but ultimately, the first person writing style, the rape scene and the characters took too much enjoyment out of the book and the unreliability of the dual timelines wasn’t enough to counteract it. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve read books that are similar and better done, but I wouldn’t hurry to recommend it, or to slam it, it just is.

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