Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for The Date, the latest psychological thriller from author, Louise Jensen. My thanks to Kim Nash of Bookouture for inviting me to join the tour and providing an advance copy of the book for review. I’ll be sharing my review shortly, just as soon as we’ve taken a look at the all important book stuff.
About the Book
One night can change everything.
‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’
Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.
Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her…
Two things you can be pretty confident of when you pick up a book by Louise Jensen is that a) you are going to have a really good time reading a book by a very assured and capable writer and b) you better prepare yourself for a flipping roller coaster of a ride as she turns your understanding on its head and manipulates your feelings with nearly each and every page turn. This is exactly what you are provided, once more, when you pick up a copy of The Date, her latest psychological thriller.
Now this is not the first time I have read a book around the subject of prosopagnosia, or in layman’s terms – face blindness – and as I have another book along a similar vein, it won’t be the last either, but I have to admit that in spite of this I find the whole idea and subject matter fascinating. Louise Jensen has taken a very complicated and life changing condition and woven it into the heart of a story which is ultimately quite twisted and very compelling.
Ali is someone we can perhaps all recognise, recently separated, living with a friend and trying to get her life back on track. Reluctantly she agrees to the idea of going on a date with someone she meets over a dating app and when the big night comes … well, let’s just say things get a little out of hand and from that point onward things start to get very, very scary. Ali wakes at home with a head injury, no memory of the night before and worse still – lacking the ability to recognise anybody, not even her brother. The whole world seems alien to her, voices she recognises but cannot associate with faces, people she remembers but that one crucial night she cannot get back. Her friend and housemate is gone, cutting of all ties to Ali and she doesn’t know why. Desperate to find out what happened, Ali turns to a former neighbour for help – and that it where it gets interesting.
Now as much as this is a mystery or thriller of a very high standard as always, it is just as interesting to me to see the way in which Louise Jensen has crafted the character of Ali. She is quite a complicated soul, a family history which has coloured her future and as both her parents are gone she was the primary family to her younger brother, Ben. The impact that her condition has upon her and her relationship with her brother is very well portrayed – the confusion and apprehension Ali feels, how scared and overwhelmed she is in not being able to recognise people and yet the small comfort or recognition from something about them be it a hair style or a pair of glasses. It all feels real, authentic, and it is clear that the author has done her research. The whole situation adds a layer of not only mystery but also tension to the story as it is primarily told from Ali’s point of view and her inability to remember or identify people adds an element of mistrust to everything we see.
The story itself … Well I don’t want to say any more about the plot but it is quite cleverly constructed and with many twists and turns to keep me guessing, I was kept not only on the edge of my seat, but also in the dark until almost the end of the book, just as it should be. Was this a date gone wrong or something far more sinister. What did happen to Ali that night and will she ever find the truth. There are so many people who don’t appear to be telling Ali the whole truth, and while I had my suspicions about Ali’s friends, I’m not going to tell you if I was right or wrong in what I thought. Read the book for yourself and see what you think. I’ll be honest and say I certainly wasn’t expecting that ending.
If you like a good old psychological thriller or domestic noir, in this case with a slightly unusual twist, then The Date is quite probably the book you should pick up next. Gripping, tense and occasionally chilling, this book kept me hooked from the off. I never fail to be happy after reading a Louise Jensen book and this was another perfect example as to why. Highly recommended.
If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, it is available from the following retailers:
About the Author
Louise Jensen is a Global No.1 Bestselling author of psychological thrillers The Sister, The Gift & The Surrogate. To date Louise has sold approaching a million books and her novels have been sold for translation to nineteen territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award.
Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips.
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