This evening I have the pleasure of reviewing Barbara Copperthwaite’s latest novel, ‘The Perfect Friend’, as part of the blog tour organised by Bookouture. Big thanks, as always, to Bookouture for the blog tour invite!
She’ll do anything for you…
My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.
My husband has left me.
My children won’t speak to me.
My friend Carrie is the only person I have.
She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets.
She’d never do anything to let me down.
What does TWG think?
Never have I ever, read a psychological thriller and related to one of the characters because of their actions. No, don’t worry, there is no need to phone the emergency services. It wasn’t THAT kind of action…you know, an illegal one.
Alex has an eating disorder. Anorexia to be precise. Not only does she go to see her counsellor, Rosie, she also goes to a support group where she ends up befriending a girl called Carrie. Poor Carrie has had her own fair share of devastation and, because of that, Alex finds herself wanting to mother Carrie and take her under her wing.
At first readers to take the two women at face value, because the only information that was given were the basics like their name, age, skeletal information on their past. Not really enough to form a proper opinion on them. As I have already said, readers are told that Alex has an eating disorder and unfortunately, this character was the one that I related to because just like Alex, I have succumbed to an eating disorder for a large portion of my life. It was pretty raw to read about the illness in black and white, agreeing with a lot of things that was said. For me, the subject dominated a large part of the storyline, which in turn made me forget that I was reading a psychological thriller as there were times where it didn’t feel like one. I am impressed, and very thankful, by the fact that Barbara Copperthwaite had clearly researched eating disorders. I am also thankful by the way she wrote the topic because it’s not often that eating disorders get regarded as not being the sufferer’s fault. So as a sufferer myself, I thank you.
Back to the overall book, sorry I detoured a bit there! Alex and Carrie’s relationship, on the outside, was one that a lot of people may wish that they had. I was one of them! I constantly felt as though I was on high alert where both women was concerned, yet I had absolutely no idea why. Hell, I was on high alert with every single character in the story because they came across a little shifty. I know this sounds bad and I know that the phrase is usually ‘innocent until proven guilty’, but because I was on tenterhooks, I couldn’t help but think that every character was guilty until proven innocent! I know that probably makes me sound incredibly negative, but I just couldn’t work out who was telling the truth and who was lying.
From about the halfway mark until the very end, I felt very nervous. My breathing grew rapid and, despite reading the book in bed, I still ended up looking over my shoulder in case anyone was to creep up behind me. Of course I wouldn’t have seen them walk into my bedroom…..but I was completely in the zone, if you get what I mean! The slightest noise and I hit the roof!
‘The Perfect Friend’ is such a twisted read which will hold you prisoner whether you like it or not! I thought the storyline was really well done, but the fact that there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and lies, I did end up a little bit confused and found things a smile inconsistent. However, I thought that the author nailed the suspense element to the book, as well as the shock factor because my jaw became unhinged!
What I loved most about ‘The Perfect Friend’ was how, despite the author writing the main points of the book, the way that she wrote them enabled the reader to believe their own version of events that they concocted in their own mind due to the high level of uncertainty. For example, if Barbara Copperthwaite had written; ‘The sky was a perfect blue, with clouds as fluffy as sheep. But is it really blue? It was a minute ago, but now it has gone grey. Did I imagine it?’, I would start questioning the truth. Obviously the author used better examples than that, but you get what I mean.
‘The Perfect Friend’ really is a mind-blowing, gripping, and rollercoaster ride of a read. Very, very impressed – I look forward to reading more from Barbara Copperthwaite!
About the author.
Barbara is the Amazon and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, and HER LAST SECRET. Her latest book is THE PERFECT FRIEND.
More importantly, she loves cakes, wildlife photography and, last but definitely not least, her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy (who force her to throw tennis balls for them for hours).
Having spent over twenty years as a national newspaper and magazine journalist, Barbara has interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.
When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.
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