The Confession by Jo Spain ~ What prompted an unprovoked attack? #Psychological Murder/Mystery @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks

Author: Jo Spain

Published: January 2018 by Quercus

Category: Murder, Mystery, Psychological, Book Review

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Told from the perspectives of Julie, JP Carney and the investigating officer, DS Alice Moody, The Confession takes a totally different slant on a psychological thriller. From the dramatic and compelling prologue, set in the present, we know the identity of the murderer immediately. The mystery is why. What prompted the attack? What was the perpetrator’s’s motive?

Disgraced bank owner Harry McNamara, just recently acquitted of financial fraud, and his wife Julie are watching TV when a man walks into their house wielding a golf club. A brutal attack takes place in front of a shocked and horrified Julie, who is unable to do anything until the attacker flees. An hour later JP Carney walks into the police station and confesses to the assault, claiming he didn’t know what made him attack someone he didn’t know.

The events that lead up to JP Carney’s seemingly unprovoked attack are revealed slowly and thoroughly as a picture builds through the multi layered backstories of Julie, Harry and Carney, alternating between past and present. There are no obvious links between JP and Harry and as JP is unable to explain why he committed such an indiscriminate act of violence, he’s placed in secure facility.

Julie first met Harry McNamara at a college ball in her third year.

Harry called out to me through a circle of people, all gathered around him, the centre of their universe. He was leaning casually against the wall of the provost’s garden, holding court. His bow tie hung open around his neck and a cigar stuck out of the side of his mouth. He was, without exception, the most handsome man I’d ever laid eyes on. He was so un-Irish looking. Thick, wavy brown hair framed a tanned, sculpted face, and his tux was expensive – perfectly tailored, the way a man should wear a suit. And tight fitting enough for me to see he had the toned and muscular body of an athlete.

But his smile – oh, his smile was the clincher.

The Confession has a clever, twisty plot with well defined characters, which explores events from different perspectives while throwing up more questions than answers. It’s a complex mix of mostly unhealthy emotions including betrayal and its consequences, insecurity and misguided loyalty. 

Excellent characterisation means, although not particularly likeable, the main players are realistic. It’s easy to become invested in their stories, even as the narrative delves beneath the surface and true natures are revealed. The victim and attacker couldn’t be more different, one brought up in a working class environment and the other with a rich and privileged lifestyle. How could there be any connection between them. Julie was brought up in a rural Irish village but embraced the high life—until the gloss began to wear off.

My favourite character was Alice and I would have liked more of her but nevertheless, The Confession was an enjoyable and intriguing read which kept me guessing to the end.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Hive | Book Depository

About the Author

Jo Spain is the author of the Inspector Tom Reynolds series. Her first book, top ten bestseller With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. The Confession her first standalone thriller, was a number one bestseller and translated all over the world.
Jo is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, a former political advisor in the Irish parliament and former vice-chair of InterTrade Ireland business body.
She now writes novels and screenplays full-time. Her first co-written TV show TAKEN DOWN was broadcast in Ireland in 2018 and bought by international distributors Fremantle.
Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four young children. In her spare time (she has four children, there is no spare time really) she likes to read. Her favourite authors include Pierre Lemaitre, Jo Nesbo, Liane Moriarty, Fred Vargas and Louise Penny. She also watches TV detective series and was slightly obsessed with The Bridge, Trapped and The Missing.
Jo thinks up her plots on long runs in the woods. Her husband sleeps with one eye open and all her friends have looked at her strangely since she won her publishing deal.

Author links ~ Facebook | Twitter 

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