I’m thrilled to be sharing my review of Blood Orange which I read in October last year! Blood Orange is the debut novel by Harriet Tyce, and it’s one that I absolutely loved – I think that this will be a big hit.
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….
Alison is a fascinating character, albeit one that is deeply flawed. There is a lot going on in her life, but it’s difficult to feel sorry for her when her own decisions are the cause of many of her problems. At first glance, she is a lucky lady – she has a young daughter whose father doesn’t mind taking on a lot of the domestic duties that (still) seem to fall to the mother by default, and this has allowed Alison to progress her career as a barrister. Whilst her career is on the up – she has just been assigned her first murder case – she is also having an affair with a colleague. An affair that she repeatedly tells the reader that she has had enough of, yet one that she never quite manages to end. She stays out late, drinks too much, and isn’t there for her daughter as much as she should be, and I was very much against her, initially at least. I think it’s extremely difficult to make a reader sympathise with a character like Alison, but Tyce manages it, and I was surprised at how much I grew to like her.
Tyce writes brilliantly, and I thought that this was a very clever novel that didn’t give much away – just a little hint every now and then to keep the reader’s interest piqued. Alison’s hectic lifestyle seems to be on a downward spiral as her husband becomes increasingly frustrated with her behaviour, accusing her of prioritising work over family. There are little hints as to what might come, particularly as it becomes apparent that someone knows about her affair, but the story took some unexpected turns as the various threads of the story came together.
Blood Orange is a brilliantly plotted tale that slowly unwinds as the reader realises that there’s much more going on than is at first apparent. The murder case that she is working on appears clear cut, yet the more Alison discovers, the less convinced she is of her client’s pleas of guilt. I liked that, whilst relevant, the murder case is secondary to the main plot, which focusses on Alison and her own personal trials. There were parts of the plot that I worked out, but this was definitely one where I read on to see if I was right. And whilst I worked out some elements, it went further than I had expected. I loved the ending though – it came as a bit of a shock, but worked perfectly.
Blood Orange was published on 21 February by Wildfire Books, and I highly recommend it to those who are looking for a dark and twisty psychological thriller. Many thanks to Georgina Moore for the review copy, and to Anne Cater for the opportunity to join the blog tour.
Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour: