Today it gives me great pleasure to be joining the tour for the latest novel from Sheryl Browne, The Affair. My thanks to Kim Nash of Bookouture for inviting me to join in. Here is what the book is all about.
About the Book
The moment she opened her eyes, she knew everything had changed. The stale taste of alcohol; her uneasy stomach. She looked at her husband sleeping peacefully, and knew she would never tell anyone what happened last night.
You will think you know what happened to Alicia that night.
You will see a desperate wife, lying to her husband.
You will watch a charming lover, trying to win her back.
You will judge her, just like everyone else.
You will assume you know what happens next. But everything you think you know about the past, the relationships, what drives Alicia and her husband to lie… is wrong.
If you loved The Girl on the Train, The Wife Between Us and The Sister, you’ll love this compelling and gripping psychological thriller from Sheryl Browne. The Affair will have you hooked from the very first page!
Well if this book doesn’t show you the reason it is bad to keep secrets then nothing will. I have to be quite honest and say that this book was not quite what I was expecting. Less domestic noir than a domestic drama, it had both the mix of tension and emotion which had me hooked from the very first page. It was a one afternoon kind of read and one I thoroughly enjoyed. If that’s the right word at least.
From the start we are introduced to Alicia and Justin, a couple who appear to be having a few new issues in their otherwise perfect marriage. Issues pertaining to jealousy but of who and what we have yet to learn. Justin is a Doctor, tired and weary, Alicia a Social Worker. They have two children, teenager Sophie, and baby Lucas. Their world should be perfect. And it is until one fateful event changes everything.
Now I have never known a domestic thriller to elicit such emotion as this one did in the opening few chapters. What happens there is shocking and Sheryl Browne has captured the raw emotion of loss so perfectly that it brought a tear to my eye as I read it. What this segment leads to is a world of deceit, to lives littered with secrets of a sometimes shocking nature and ones which will push the protagonists beyond a point they ever thought they would cross.
I really liked the way in which the author created the characters in this book. My utmost sympathy was for Justin who was clearly innocent in all that happened but was pushed as far as any person could be. His reactions to what happened were believable and almost expected, but there was just something about the character which made me like him. Alicia was another character who I did warm to but there was something there, some secret which made her not entirely trustworthy. How this plays out in the actual story you will need to read to find out.
The story is told from several points of view, mainly Justin and Alicia, but also occasionally Sophie. She is a typical teenager trying hard to be an adult, but ultimately affected by all that happens in the book. There are moments I just wanted to grab and shake her and tell her to be more aware but her story rang true to both her age and her circumstance.
The story does not necessarily take you by surprise – most of what happens, the deceit and the controlling behaviour – is played out clearly on each page. But there are still some moments to throw you, occasions where the characters take you by surprise and their actions will have you gripped. Because of this, I found myself invested in the story and, if I am honest, the ending did surprise me, perhaps leaving a small smile of satisfaction on my face.
If you are looking for a twisted domestic drama with secrets and lies at its core and where nothing is as it appears to be then this could be the book for you. If you’d like to find out then The Affair is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Sheryl Browne brings you powerful psychological thriller and contemporary fiction. Sheryl’s latest psychological thriller THE AFFAIR – the second of a three-book deal – comes to you from fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
So why does Sheryl write in two genres? Quoting E. L. Doctorow, Sheryl says: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights…” This she thinks sums up a writer’s journey, you never quite know where you are going until you get there. You might start with an outline, but a strong character will always divert from the plot. If Sheryl’s not sure where a character is going, she simply has to trust him to show her the way. Plus, according to one reviewer, she also has a scary insight into the mind of a psychopath.
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