The Wrong Woman by J.P. Pomare #CrimeFiction #Thriller @jppomare #TuesdayBookBlog

60306446Author: J.P. Pomare

Published: August 2022 by Hodder & Stoughton

Category: Crime, Fiction, Psychological, Thriller, Suspense

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A private investigator returning to the hometown he fled years ago becomes entangled in the disappearance of two teenage girls in this stunning literary crime thriller.

Reid left the small town of Manson a decade ago, promising his former Chief of Police boss he’d never return. He made a new life in the city, became a PI and turned his back on his old life for good.

Now an insurance firm has offered him good money to look into a suspicious car crash, and he finds himself back in the place he grew up – home to his complicated family history, a scarring relationship breakdown and a very public career-ending incident.

Although he promised never to return, Vince Reid finds himself back in his hometown of Manson, despite the bad memories the town holds. Ex cop Reid is now a private investigator working mostly for insurance companies. When he was first approached about the job and learning it was in Manson Reid declined, but was won over by a significant increase in pay. 

He was tasked with investigating a single vehicle crash resulting in one fatality and a hospitalised driver. Looking like a simple case on the face of it — the police had deemed it accidental — Reid hoped he would be gone before anyone he knew realised he was there. He knew he wouldn’t be welcome. But when two teenage girls disappear things get much more complicated and high risk, the investigations uncovering more questions than answers.

Wanna know my greatest strength? The fact I possess a forgettable face. It’s true, I swear — just look at me. Late thirties, white, suburban American male — I am the human equivalent of a toast-slice loaf of white bread. A caricaturist would struggle to find a single feature they could exaggerate on this head of mine and, quite frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Handsome men stand out, which means they can’t do what I do; and men unfortunate enough to be uglier than me also tend to stand out. So here I am. Somewhere in the middle.

The dual narrative, Reid in the present and Ashana, the survivor, leading up to the crash, allowing events to unfold from both perspectives. Both are compelling narrators. There seem to be many questions about Ashana’s husband and the state of their marriage, which leads to questions about the crash…whether it was an accident or deliberate.

The small town, actually two small towns close together, also known as the twin towns where everyone knows everyone else and nothing is quite what it seems, add to the atmosphere. Reid is persistent and determined to find out the truth, despite being impeded by his past, and the web of lies, secrets and intrigue surrounding the investigations.

The plot is well written, cleverly crafted and engrossing with unpredictable twists and an ending I wasn’t expecting. Characters are well defined and believable. I liked Reid a lot,  I wonder if he’ll feature again…I’ll definitely be seeking out other books by this author as this is the first I’ve read.

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JPPomareJ. P. Pomare is a New Zealand author who lives in Melbourne, Australia.
He is the author of four critically acclaimed and best-selling novels, Call Me Evie, In The Clearing, Tell Me Lies and The Last Guests.

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