Thursday, March 02, 2017

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty: first-class psychological thriller

Yvonne Carmichael sits in the witness box. The charge is murder. Before all of this, she was happily married, a successful scientist, a mother of two. Now she's a suspect, squirming under fluorescent lights and the penetrating gaze of the alleged accomplice who's sitting across from her, watching: a man who's also her lover. As Yvonne faces hostile questioning, she must piece together the story of her affair with this unnamed figure who has charmed and haunted her. 

This is a tale of sexual intrigue, ruthless urges, and danger, which has blindsided her from a seemingly innocuous angle. Here in the courtroom, everything hinges on one night in a dark alley called Apple Tree Yard. 


It's a very different book from the recent TV series (which I also loved). This is far darker and more dangerous and deeper, and I much prefer it! I enjoyed the fact that the main character, Yvonne, is neither particularly likeable, nor particularly honest, but her voice is just so strong that she becomes an absolutely gripping character and I couldn't put the book down.

The writing is both detailed and precisely fitted both to the characterisation and the flow of the story which makes for a first-class read. Doughty is now on my reading list and I will definitely be getting more of her books.

Anne Brooke Books

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