Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….
From the intriguing prologue to the shocking (and I probably shouldn’t admit, satisfying end) I loved this. The blurb outlines the basic story, but who is it exactly who is talking to us? This is a twisted tale of ambition, misguided passion, and control. But it’s also about much more, in a #MeToo society, it’s a book that shines a light on what women in certain toxic workplaces often face as ‘normal’ if they want to succeed. For me, it also raised the wider issue of a woman struggling to juggle a career and family life. While society tells us we can and it’s OK, ultimately, it still relies on men, and other women to step up to the plate and play their part, either as employers or partners.
Blood Orange is essentially Alison’s story and what a journey she takes us on. Now Alison might not be to everyone’s taste, but after a faltering start I started to feel for her. She’s a criminal law barrister who’s just been handed her first murder case, something that could make or break her career. But her career is also being both advanced and at the same time dangerously compromised by her relationship with Patrick. I use the word ‘relationship’ advisedly because it’s basically sex and pretty rough sex at that. For Alison, while she knows it’s wrong, it at least generates emotions, even if at times it might just be disgust. While she is playing at being ‘one of the boys’ after work, her husband Carl, the caring, ‘supportive’ husband, is left to look after their daughter Matilda. Someone or something will have to change.
Being handed the murder case is a turning point for Alison, as she starts to question the story she is being told. There are definite parallels between Alison and her client, which we as the reader can more readily see. As Alison starts to try to uncover the truth, she also begins to take back control of her own life, though the consequences of doing so are dangerous and dramatic.
This was a book that gripped me from the start. It was impossible, to put it down even when on occasion I was wincing in discomfort. As the tension ratchets up, the need to find out exactly what is going on and discover whether Alison can redeem herself is the driving force. It’s dark and twisty, with undoubtedly shocking and uncomfortable elements, but it’s an intelligent and compelling read that deserves all the praise that it’s getting. As for the title, that becomes very satisfyingly apparent!!
Many thanks to Headline for a copy of the book which I received without obligation at a promotional event.