A review of Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce, an easy to read yet captivating psychological thriller that darkly explores lust, jealousy and revenge. With elusive mysteries, twists and turns, Blood Orange will have you devouring the pages until the very end.
I got into a bit of a reading rut over the last couple of weeks as I had been trying to read two books at a time.
I KNEW I needed a thriller to kick me out of it!
Having been SUPER excited to read Blood Orange after all the hype online, I was ready to dive in.
On the cover of my copy there’s praise from Lisa Jewell (you know how much I LOVED The Family Upstairs) ‘Utterly compelling I couldn’t put it down’, and the Guardian ‘Fans of Apple Tree Yard and The Girl on the Train will love this’. Both comments were true for me too – I was a fan of both of those thrillers and I too couldn’t put this book down.
But was it as good as everyone had said?
What’s Blood Orange about?
For those of you who haven’t heard about Blood Orange, it’s a psychological suspense / thriller novel following the main protagonist Alison, a barrister in London. She lives with her husband and daughter and her career is on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case!
Despite those positives, she’s drinking far too much (think Girl on the Train), having an affair (think Apple Tree Yard) and someone has started to threaten to expose these secrets. In addition to all this personal stuff, Alison’s new client seems to be set on pleading guilty of murder, but something about the murder case just isn’t adding up.
Can Alison help her client, and help herself along the way?
What’s Blood Orange like to read?
I read Blood Orange in just three sittings. It’s easy reading and I love reading books like this, devouring page after page, wondering what will be unearthed next.
The book touches on many potentially triggering topics including toxic relationships, gas lighting, domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships with alcohol. The narrative is pacy and has you second guessing how the story is going to unfold, whilst turning page after page.
One of my favourite things about books being set in London is being able to visualise where the characters are, another reason why I loved Apple Tree Yard too.
A hard part of the reading this book are the encounters with a few, unlikeable characters. Alison herself drives me mad as she pushes thoughts of her family to the back of her mind during moments with her lover. Then there’s her lover. An annoyingly smart and smug guy, who to be honest sounded like a total wanker.
Not liking the characters can make for a frustrating narrative in places, especially as I felt so irritated by Alison’s affair! Although this part of the story was essential, it does make you feel so uncomfortable at times.
In summary, I did enjoy Blood Orange – the twists in the story had me hooked and I was eager to know how Alison was going to get herself out of her mishaps along the way.
As a warning the story does delve into particularly tough and negative relationships, both in the murder case and in Alison’s personal life. A great domestic thriller, but I’ve knocked off half a star from 4 to 3.5 because of how frustrated I got with Alison. Don’t let that stop you delving in though!