Book Review: Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What is it about?  Blood Orange is a psychological thriller with three main plot lines. The book focuses around Alison who has just been given her first murder case to defend. The main plotline from the murder case is that Madeline has admitted to killing her husband, but it is not all as it seems. The other two focus around Alison’s private life. She seems to have a happy family with her husband and a young daughter who she often doesn’t have as much time as she’d like because of her work. Also, because she is having an affair with a work college, Patrick. Leading a secret life seems to be working for her, until she begins getting texts from an anonymous number. 

What did I think? I had seen this book all over bookstagram and so I thought id give it a go. However, I felt it didn’t live up to reviews on the cover of it being so compelling people couldn’t put it down. The main character Alison was very difficult to like.  Yes, there were times I felt a lot of sympathy for her, but there were also times I felt she let the reader down. I honestly wanted her to be able to change and realise what she really wanted was a happy family with her husband and daughter, but she couldn’t seem to resist Patrick. I suppose this worked well for the story line concerning the texts and the reader’s want to find out what was going on in that respect. As a thriller, I found that there were excerpts that lived up to this, but this would be about 5 pages at a time before going back to following Alison’s repetitive, mundane life. This could be seen as a good thing as it excites the reader as we want to get back to the drama, but I personally would have liked to see a bit more of a focus on some of the more exciting aspects of the story. Bits would come back that I had forgotten about meaning I didn’t feel that want to read on a find out where that led. I found the most exciting part of the story was the murder trial because it was clear Madeline was not telling the whole story and each time she met Alison, she gave her a little bit more information. I will say the end of the book really redeemed it for me, it was not what I expected, and I found the last 100 pages really picked up the pace. It was an interesting ending in the fact that it was clever in the way it all came together but I felt that most of the characters were unlikable that I found I didn’t have that desire to see what happened to them in the end. The characters I rooted for the most were Madeline and Matilda (Alison’s daughter) as I felt there was something going on with Madeline that she wasn’t the person she made herself out to be. And of course, I just wanted Matilda to be happy when there was so much going on with all the adults in her life. Even though the ending was the most exciting bit of the book, I didn’t finish the book with a sense of fulfilment from reading it. 

Would I recommend? It wouldn’t be a go to recommendation if I’m honest. It didn’t really live up to the expectations I had of it. However, if you are willing to get through some of the duller bits in order to get to the drama this book could work for you.  I have also heard from people who love it, do I very much think it’s a book with mixed reviews. Trigger Warnings – The book does contain domestic abuse (includes physical, emotional and sexual) and reference to brutal murder. 

What will I review next? His & Hers by Alice Feeney