73. The Confession by Jo Spain

I had my monthly massage on Saturday (24/6) and I was early into town. I promised myself I would just browse in the bookshop until my appointment and then I walked out with six books…My family think I have an addiction to books and I’m likely to agree with them!

Synopsis (as taken from the back of the book) is as follows:

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. It looks like Harry’s many sins – corruption, greed, betrayal – have finally caught up with him.

An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled.

Has Carney’s surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game?

Ability to read – I bought this on Saturday, when I wasn’t supposed to buy anything because of the 84! books currently waiting to be read in my house. On Sunday afternoon, when the clouds came in close and a headache began to blossom, I sat down to read this and three hours later I’d finished it. The Confession was an addictive read and one that demanded all of my attention. I picked this book up because I’d just discovered Jo Spain and wanted to read outside of her detective series. I knew this read would be compelling, I just didn’t know how much. This book was easy to read, the storyline hooks you in completely and keeps you till the end. The language wasn’t difficult and I got a clear sense of all the players involved. I thought it might cause a problem because the chapters take on different POVs, three in total but I managed to navigate around the different POVs and still understand whose voice I was reading and what importance the different POVs gave.

Characterisation – There were three main characters in this book, the three POVs we viewed throughout, which were: Julie, JP and Alice. Each character had a different way of presenting the facts and looking into the past and present of the crime committed. Each character had secrets, strengths and weaknesses and between them they managed to construct a web of mystery that kept me enthralled until the end. The characters allow you to form your own opinion. My opinion of Harry changed constantly as the story progressed and at times I found myself on his side while at other times I wanted to beat him senseless. JP’s POVs were done in a way that kept me guessing, I didn’t fully understand his person until quite close to the end but I always felt this strong need of secrecy from him and a smugness that he knew things that others didn’t. Julie’s POV was a snapshot of the past leading up to the moment Harry was beaten, it was a detailed snapshot that allowed me to understand the character and her actions during the attack and after the attack. She made for a very compelling character. Alice brought with her the detective side of things but I enjoyed that she wasn’t a stereotypical detective and that she had her own way of doing things. I liked that she preferred to work alone and that she got on well with her boss as they both had weaknesses to work through. I enjoyed the way Alice’s mind swung between different motives and possibilities because as a reader I’d also swung between them and it made me feel like part of the story.

Visualisation – This book is also set in Ireland and while I don’t have any reference for what Dublin looks like, it didn’t hamper my visualisation of the setting or pull me away from the book at any point. The characters were so rich in detail and description that I could completely imagine where they were standing, what they were doing, who they were interacting with and what their behaviour was. I felt that the characters were the driving force for the storyline to proceed rather than it being down to the descriptions and visualisation point.

Uniqueness – I understood this was going to be a gripping thriller but I didn’t understand how much I was going to enjoy it or how long the plot would linger with me. I don’t often read thriller murders of psychological murders because I find the plots can be really hit and miss in terms of working and being believable or not. This thriller was written very well and I found that I couldn’t put it down until I read it from start to finish. I found the characters to be different and unique and I think writing it with the different point of views made it more believable and left me with a sense of ‘this could happen in real life.’ It was another story where I learnt a couple of things about Ireland and I really enjoy books that I can learn from as well as enjoying the storyline given. It was unique to me in terms of having not read much of the genre before so I didn’t have much to compare it to and also, I think, in the way it was presented with the different character POVs.


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