Monday, August 20, 2018

Review: A Double Life

Summary: Claire is a hardworking doctor leading a simple, quiet life in London. She is also the daughter of the most notorious murder suspect in the country, though no one knows it.

Nearly thirty years ago, while Claire and her brother slept upstairs, a brutal crime was committed in her family’s townhouse. The next morning, her father’s car was found abandoned near the English Channel, with bloodstains on the front seat. Her mother insisted she’d seen him in the house that night, but his powerful, privileged friends maintained his innocence. The first lord accused of murder in more than a century, he has been missing ever since.

When the police tell Claire they’ve found him, her carefully calibrated existence begins to fracture. She doesn’t know if she’s the daughter of a murderer or a wronged man, but Claire will soon learn how far she’ll go to finally find the truth.

Loosely inspired by one of the most notorious unsolved crimes of the 20th century – the Lord Lucan case – A Double Life is at once a riveting page-turner and a moving reflection on women and violence, trauma and memory, and class and privilege. -- Viking

Once again, I picked up a book this summer because of the buzz surrounding it. The latest one is A DOUBLE LIFE by Flynn Berry, and I can definitely see why it is generating some excitement. I found this novel to be both well-written and an intriguing mystery, and I guess it's loosely based on a real unsolved crime.

A DOUBLE LIFE tells the story of Claire, a woman who leads a pretty quiet life as a doctor in London. She also happens to be the daughter of one of the most famous murder suspects in England, but somehow she's managed to keep that a secret. It's pretty amazing that no one close to her knows her history because (believe me!) Claire is still traumatized by what happened when she was a young girl.

Thirty years ago, a man broke into her family's house and brutally murdered her sitter and beat up her mother. Her mother claims that it was Claire's father whom she saw in the house; and when his car was found abandoned with blood stains on the front seats, it certainly made him look guilty. He was never seen again, and his friends all maintained that he was innocent.

The police notify Claire that they think have found her father, and Claire begins her obsession with discovering whether her father was a brutal murderer or a wrongly charged man. Claire is determining to get to the bottom of this mystery even if that means putting her own life at risk!

I really enjoyed A DOUBLE LIFE. I liked that the mystery was based on a real-life murder (the Lord Lucan) case, and I thought Ms. Berry wrote a fantastic story. The murder was captivating, as was Claire's character. She was dealing with a lot of baggage; and while I wouldn't exactly call her an unreliable narrator, she definitely wasn't quite right in the head. It all made for quite the murder mystery.

I also really appreciated Ms. Berry's writing style. I enjoyed the pacing of the novel and I found it to be quite the page-turner. In addition, I found it interesting that the author incorporated some social commentary into the story, especially when it came to class and privilege in England. I also liked how she created the character of Claire. I found her to be intriguing and I was actually uncomfortable (at times) with her actions.

One of the best things about A DOUBLE LIFE was the ending. It was a shocker for me and I found it a little disturbing.... and that's all I can really say without giving away the surprise!

A DOUBLE LIFE is a well written mystery that's sure to entertain fans of this genre. Highly recommended.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Oh my, you've made this sound really good! I'm really curious about the ending now.