Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m posting my review of Jane Corry’s latest pychological thriller, ‘I Made A Mistake’. I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC – thanks so much to Penguin for sending me a copy! I loved this book so much that I just had to review it in full. So, keep reading to discover my thoughts…
IT STARTED WITH A KISS… AND ENDED WITH MURDER.
In Poppy Page’s mind, there are two types of women in this world: those who are faithful to their husbands, and those who are not. Until now, Poppy has never questioned which she was.
But when handsome, charming Matthew Gordon walks back into her life after almost two decades, that changes. Poppy makes a single mistake – and that mistake will be far more dangerous than she could image.
Someone is going to pay for it with their life…
‘I Made A Mistake’ (May 2020) is Jane Corry’s 5th novel, following on from ‘My Husband’s Wife’ (2016), ‘Blood Sisters’ (2017), ‘The Dead Ex’ (2018) and ‘I Looked Away’ (2019). Jane Corry is a writer and journalist who worked for three years as the writer in residence of a high security male prison.
The novel has received positive reviews, from the likes of OK: “A chilling maze of twists and turns” and Sunday Express: “This is [her] most gripping [novel] yet.” Other fellow authors also praised the book, such as Gillian McAllister: “Gritty, real, interesting and clever”, Claire Douglas: “So clever, compulsive and twisty with a reveal I never saw coming”, Angela Marsons: “Full of twists and turns that left me positively breathless” and Teresa Driscoll: “What an addictive read!”
‘I Looked Away’ tells the story of Poppy Page, whose life is turned upside down when her ex-partner Matthew Gordon appears back on the scene. Poppy can’t resist Matthew’s charm, and ends up making a terrible mistake that will haunt her forever…
The narrative is told from the first-person perspectives of Poppy and Betty (written as a long letter), with each chapter switching between the two. The reader is given an in-depth insight to their thoughts, feelings and emotions. There are also sections detailing a heated future court case. The narrative is mostly told in the present tense, with the exceptions of the court case transcripts. The narrative is fairly easy to follow, yet still very effective.
My favourite character in the novel would have to be Betty. Betty is Poppy’s mother-in-law, and she tells the story of her past with husband Jock. Betty is a sweet, innocent young girl when she marries Jock, the love of her life, back in 1970. She loves fashion and wants to study dressmaking, but her fiercely-traditional family will not allow it. Upon marrying Jock, she immediately takes on the role of loving housewife, doting on Jock’s every need. But things soon begin to change, and Betty and Jock’s relationship starts to crumble. Betty always tries to do her best but it is never good enough for Jock, and so she ends up befriending another couple nearby, and spends time with them to escape from her own life. Betty is a loving, caring character who does not deserve to suffer, and at times I felt a great deal of sympathy towards her. She is an extremely well-written, three dimensional character.
In the present day, Poppy’s marriage to husband Stuart is also beginning to crumble. Poppy is fiercely independent and looks after their children, and they lead pretty separate lives. When an old flame walks back into Poppy’s life, she longs to escape and feel alive again, and so embarks upon a journey to self-discovery. However, her self-indulgence ends up putting her entire family in danger, and causing a lot more trouble than originally anticipated. Poppy must discover what really matters to her and fight for her family – before it’s too late. Poppy is another very well-written character, and I really enjoyed finding out more about her as the novel went on.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** (I apologise for any spoilers here). This novel explores the theme of domestic violence in great detail, with regards to both physical and emotional abuse. There are repeated references to infidelity and scenes of a sexual nature. Mental illness is explored throughout the novel, including references to suicide. Finally, pregnancy issues and infidelity are also mentioned. All of these issues are explored with appropriate sensitivity – but if you feel that they may trigger a negative response, I suggest you skip this book.
As the narrative motors onwards, both Betty’s and Poppy’s situations get much worse. In the past, Betty must learn to stand up for herself and do what is right; and in the present, Poppy must fight for her family’s survival. But is it too late?
So, let’s talk about the ending. There’s a dramatic end scene in which the truth about one of the characters’ deaths is finally revealed. I was really shocked by the final twist, and definitely never saw that coming! After the initial disbelief wore off, I felt really satisfied by the ending, and felt that it tied everything together brilliantly. A great ending to a fantastic book!
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy psychological thrillers, particularly if you like more domestic-based narratives. Jane Corry is one of my favourite authors, and this book has reaffirmed that belief. There is plenty of suspense and tension, well-written characters and a fantastic end scene! My only criticism is that I didn’t really warm to the character of Poppy that much, and at times I felt she was a bit flat. But that being said, this is still a very worthwhile read.
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Happy reading 🙂