Author: Renée Knight
Author: Renée Knight
Publication: Harper Collins, Hardcover, 2015
Plot: What if you realized the terrifying book you were reading was all about you?
Catherine Ravenscroft is a successful documentary producer with a secret she has kept for twenty years. For reasons of her own Catherine never revealed what took place to her husband or son but now she has read a book called The Perfect Stranger – hand delivered to her home – she realizes is about what happened on that long-ago trip to Spain, depicting her as the villainess and plunging her into a nightmare. On the disclaimer page, a red line is drawn through the “Any resemblance to persons living or dead...” statement. Catherine thought the one other person who knew her secret is dead so who wrote the book and gave “Charlotte” a violent death? And is it too late to tell her husband, before she ends up like the protagonist of the book?
Audience: Fans of suspense fiction; readers who enjoyed books like Before I Go to Sleep and Into the Darkest Corner.
My reaction: This was like two different books. Told in flashbacks by two different narrators with different perspectives on the past, it started very slowly and it was hard to keep the characters and time frames straight. About halfway through, it finally accelerated and caught my interest, becoming hard to put down, although I never warmed to anyone in the book. Fast-paced and deftly written, this is a great summer read. The strength of the book was its unpredictability and the way it kept making me reassess my opinion of different characters. As readers, we are conditioned to recognize that a secret is likely to be revealed, sooner or later, and that will cause or add to the drama or tension of the story. I was struck while reading Disclaimer by how it nudged at my professional responsibility - as an attorney I wanted to counsel Catherine to control the narrative by being the one to reveal her secret in her own way. The irony of her being a documentary filmmaker who is filmed instead of directing the film was not lost on me.
Interestingly, although the book is set in London, it doesn’t have a strong sense of place and I suspect this is on purpose. Probably editor or agent, aiming for the next Gone Girl, believe that to appeal to an American audience the background should be generic (don’t they realize there are many Anglophile readers like me?). However, I look forward to sharing this with my sisters, also big fans of thrillers.
Source: I received Disclaimer from the TLC Book Tours and invite you to visit the tour to read other reviews of this book:
Tuesday, May 19th: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, May 21st: Kissin Blue Karen
Friday, May 22nd: A Bookworm’s World
Monday, May 25th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, May 26th: Man of La Book
Wednesday, May 27th: Booked on a Feeling
Friday, May 29th: JulzReads
Monday, June 1st: Book Hooked Blog
Tuesday, June 2nd: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, June 3rd: Ace and Hoser Blook
Thursday, June 4th: Ms.Bookish.com
Friday, June 5th:From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, June 9th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, June 10th: Novel Escapes
Thursday, June 11th: Doing Dewey
Friday, June 12th: The Well-Read Redhead
Monday, June 15th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage