By Harriet Tyce
Author’s Website: harriettyceauthor(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
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…. (Goodreads)
Blood Orange is the first novel by Harriet Tyce. I must say…what a first. From the get go, I was engulfed in the story. This psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat – sometimes shaking my head with the antics of the main protagonist (Alison) and at other times hoping Alison would get through unscathed.
The story begins with Alison, a barrister, is happily married (or is she?) with a young child, wonderful husband (Carl) and a promising career. Alison is also having an affair with a co-worker (Peter) and drinks to excess. What is she running from… and why? And she is handed her first murder case. Being on the path to self destruction (it sure seems that way), how can Alison manage her clients defense. The client (Madeleine Smith) wants to plead guilty as she did stab and kill her husband (Edwin), but all does not seem as it should. As Alison digs deeper, the road gets murkier.
Okay…having an affair with a co-worker was not kosher behavior, especially when Patrick (the lover) comes to Alison and Carl’s home – that was just weird. However, we quickly learn that Carl is not as nice as he lets on. In fact, by the end, I did not like Carl at all. I certainly felt sorry for Matilda (Alison and Carl’s daughter) … a drunk for a mother and a “???” for a father. Obviously I can’t fill in the “???” – that is for the reader to discover. Some of Carl’s actions were reprehensible. It is too bad that Alison was so focused on her career to notice Carl and his inappropriate actions.
I suppose what was a surprise was that while Alison was drinking in excess and cavorting with a colleague, she still maintained a successful career. How does one really do that? Though of course, the career did get affected by all of the inappropriate behavior.
There are many intriguing storylines that flow along side the main storyline and keep you just distracted enough so that this reader was entertained and engrossed in reading until the very end. Surprisingly, or not, I did not figure out all the storylines until very near the end. Certainly the way I like my mysteries and thrillers.
One aspect that did bother me was Alison’s drinking to excess, especially since she is a mother to a young child. But the family dynamics are such, I suppose it is not surprising. The family story-line was a bit dark and at times I just shook my head in dismay at the behaviour of both Alison and her husband.
I am most certainly going to be on the lookout for more novels by Harriet Tyce in the future. This psychological thriller captured my attention and never let me go until the end.