Monday, 27 October 2014

The Liar's Chair - Rebecca Whitney - disturbing

From Goodreads:

Rachel Teller and her husband David appear happy, prosperous and fulfilled. The big house, the successful business . . . They have everything.

However, control, not love, fuels their relationship and David has no idea his wife indulges in drunken indiscretions. When Rachel kills a man in a hit and run, the meticulously maintained veneer over their life begins to crack.

Destroying all evidence of the accident, David insists they continue as normal. Rachel though is racked with guilt and as her behaviour becomes increasingly self-destructive she not only inflames David's darker side, but also uncovers her own long-suppressed memories of shame. Can Rachel confront her past and atone for her terrible crime? Not if her husband has anything to do with it . . .

A startling, dark and audacious novel set in and around the Brighton streets, The Liar's Chair will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the final page has been turned. A stunning psychological portrait of a woman in a toxic marriage, Rebecca Whitney's debut will show that sometimes the darkest shadow holds the truth you have been hiding from . 

My thoughts .....

The Liar's chair is the clever, disturbing, debut novel by Rebecca Whitney, which looks at the psychological turbulence of being trapped in a venomous marriage.

Rachel is already struggling to maintain a veneer of respectablity, trapped in a relationship which brings her no solace, she is returning from a night of drunken indiscretion when her car hits a vagrant killing him. As the accident occurs on a lonely stretch of road she panics and drags the body into the trees and leaves the scene.

Husband David offers to help her conceal the crime in order to continue to present to the world the pretence of civility and opulent success the couple enjoy, to all outward appearances. But she has just presented him with the perfect opportunity to be more sadistically controlling. Her already dissatisfying, sham of a marriage when coupled with her crippling guilt becomes a trap from which she can only escape inside her head by indulging in increasingly self destructive behaviour.

This story illustrates the downward spiral of a woman tortured by guilt and haunted by her own past and present. Neither character is in any way likeable. David is a self centred shit, although I felt his behaviour might have actually been shown to be even worse and I was a little irked by Rachels self destruct mentality, constantly blaming childhood events and other people for her own foibles and rather large flaws.

However I really admire authors who can create characters I believe enough to dislike and the rather impudent and shady storyline kept me turning the pages deep into the night, it's dark and disturbing and has just enough of the "there, but for the grace of God" about it to make you think, and then think again.

A thoroughly enjoyable caliginous read with characters who will make you cringe and a tense, unconventional, truly chilling storyline. My huge thanks to Panmacmillan/ Mantle books for my advance copy.

The book will be launched in January - keep your Christmas book tokens for this one and you won't be disappointed.

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