The Only Suspect – Louise Candlish

Published By: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 432
Released On: 01/02/2022

There’s the obvious story. And then there’s the truth.
 
Alex lives a comfortable life with his wife Beth in the leafy suburb of Silver Vale. Fine, so he’s not the most outgoing guy on the street, he prefers to keep himself to himself, but he’s a good husband and an easy-going neighbour.
 
That’s until Beth announces the creation of a nature trail on a local site that’s been disused for decades and suddenly Alex is a changed man. Now he’s always watching. Questioning. Struggling to hide his dread .

As the landscapers get to work, a secret threatens to surface from years ago, back in Alex’s twenties when he got entangled with a seductive young woman called Marina, who threw both their lives into turmoil.
 
And who sparked a police hunt for a murder suspect that was never quite what it seemed.
 
And it still isn’t.

*****

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I am of course aware of Louise Candlish’s books and I’m aware that she receives a lot of high praise, but this is actually the first of hers I’ve read. And I’m somewhere on the fence with it.

I did find there was some blurring between the old chapters of Rick and the new chapters of Alex. At first this might be off putting, but it does become more obvious as it goes on and in the end I felt this blurring was very cleverly done.

It’s a slow burner. I was expecting it to come out running, but instead it drip feeds you until you’re swept up.

However, it wasn’t as thrilling as I expected. I’d heard that her books were full-pace mysteries, but I felt it just sort of plodded along. That’s not to say it was bad, no, I enjoyed it, but it just felt a bit safe and needed more finesse.

It definitely felt like a book of two halves. In fact I’d go as far as saying it felt like two different books. The first is a slow character study and the second half is the mystery thriller.

I did want to persevere and find out the outcome which is a good sign, but I wasn’t really fussed about getting there. Whilst pleasant to read, it never really grabbed me.

I felt a bit lost at times. I know thriller murdery books need a bit of mystery to keep you on your toes, but I felt the only reason I was questioning things was because I didn’t know what was going on in the first place. It wasn’t because a red herring flew out and turned everything upside down, I just wasn’t sure what was happening at times.

Reading some of the other reviews for this book and her other ones, I know she’s an interesting author to read, and so this won’t put me off trying her others, but it jut fell flat. Yes there were twists and turns and whatnot but I felt they came too late.

I know that whole review sounded really negative and like I didn’t enjoy it, but I did enjoy it. I thought it was an enjoyable read but it didn’t have that magic I was hoping for.

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