Blood Orange Book Review

15 Jul 2020

(Photo credit Pinterest)

This year I made it my mission to make more time for reading - it’s such an enjoyable pass time and for so long I hadn’t made any room in my day to pick up a good book. Now working for myself and being pregnant, I’ve found the perfect balance to read at least 4/5 novels a month. I love it! It’s been exciting to hunt for new books, check out popular releases in genres that interest me and finally read the ones that have been on my list forever. 

A friend leant me her copy of Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce earlier this year, and so far it’s taken the number one spot of my favourite reads. I loved it. Not a murder mystery as I’m always swaying to, but a thriller like no other! *This post may contain spoilers*.

“Blood Orange follows attorney Alison as she takes on the case of a woman accused of murder whilst dancing on her own fine line between an apparently perfect life and its reckless reality. Tyce treads a dark oath, asking searching questions about guild and innocence whilst cleverly turning the tables on accused and accuser. 
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 neglects her family and she’s having an affair. Someone knows Alisons secrets. Someone who wants her to pay for what she’s done and who won’t stop till she’s lost everything...“ - Waterstones. 

Whilst Alison’s work does take over her life, I wouldn’t say the case she works on plays a huge part in the plot. It sets up the plot of her neglecting her family, whilst also working very closely with the mans shes having an affair with. It’s a strange one reading from the perspective of someone who is having an affair, you almost start to rationalise why she’s doing it and feeling the stress of her double life. You feel bad for her marriage not working, her not seeming to be able to do anything right for her husband or daughter - but at the same time the book keeps you wrapped up in her secrets. You want her to stop drinking, but you’re reading the perspective of a women who is naive about her problems! It was a different kind of character to be following for me, which I think kept me more gripped and interested to see how she was going to get herself out of the drama. 

Nothing is what it seems at all in this novel. Every character has secrets, and details that we’re given that don’t represent anything at the time, come back to have a bigger in pact! 
One of the biggest oh my god moments for me was the mystery black outs! With having a drinking problem Alison would get out of control, waking up in her office or not really knowing what she’d done that previous night. Whilst on a little weekend get away to repair her marriage she has a black out from drinking, but this time she’s sure she only had a couple and felt the night with her husband had been going amazing. She wakes us covered in her own vomit, dress a mess and has started what she thinks is her period. Her husband has been up all night ‘upset’ over how she turned their get away into a nightmare - where as Alison cannot get her head around how she had gotten to that point of out of control.
Big spoiler, but her husband is actually a very bad guy and had put something in her drink! One of the darkest twists to this novel is that her husband is a complete monster, disguised as a normal Dad who’s taking rains as the main parent to his daughter. He spiked his wife’s drink, raped his wife, treated her body like a doll as he waltz around the hotel room, filming the entire thing to watch later. When Alison wakes up covered in her own vomit and mess, he blames the entire thing on her, whilst he had been doing this to her throughout their marriage. 

With how bad you feel for Alison trying to work around a career and motherhood, when the evil twist of her husband is revealed, it’s such a big shock moment. You’ve feel sorry for how she treats the husband, but there are small hints of his nature in the novel. Alison loses her daughter in the park, when her husband and the police show up, he runs at his wife who is on the floor and tries to kick her! It was little reveals into his nature like this that made me start to not trust his character, but it is still a huge twist in the end. 
The story line almost seems like the husbands game, as we find out he knew of his wife’s affair, even setting up cameras in his home and in her work suitcase to witness her affair. It’s him who sends his wife threatening messages the entire time, whilst playing innocent left behind husband at home. Whilst the novel has followed Alisons work, life and affair, it turns out her husband has had a big part to play through out in all three aspects. 

Once revealed the level of monstrosity to her husband just continues, right to the last chapter. The end of the novel is completely unexpected, even though the author gives us a little hint snippet at the beginning of the book. You don’t put the pieces together until then, just like with the black outs and links to characters the husband has. 

I think why I loved this novel so much was for the twist and turns the author takes us on! It’s unlike any other thriller I’ve read, which was why I couldn’t put the book down. I was completely hooked. You think you’re just reading a novel of someone blackmailing the main character over an affair, but it is much, much more. The plot completely twists in an unexpected direction. 

If you’ve read anything like Blood Orange please do let me know, I love recommendations for books to add to my list!

Until next time, J x