Book Reviews

Review: Believe Me

  • Author: J.P. Delaney
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Publishing: July 24, 2018
  • Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
  • Goodreads

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

Claire, an actress fallen from grace with a bad reputation – finally receives the role of a lifetime after months of unemployment. A role that will redefine everything she knows about acting and expose the deepest, darkest parts of her inner psyche. Claire is put in the crosshairs of a sadistic murderer after a night of playing private eye goes terribly wrong… or is she?

Believe Me makes you question everything. Every character has a motive, every scene has more than one perspective, there is not one part of this novel where you won’t be second-guessing everything laid out before you. I was biting my nails while reading this, slipping into the story so seamlessly that hours passed by without me noticing. The pacing and tension are so intense that I dare anyone reading it to NOT finish it in one sitting. Delaney redefines the term “unreliable narrator.”

Claire is a complicated protagonist, not easily construed and not always sympathetic. She plays every role – the hero, the villain, with such imperceptible ease it will leave you breathless trying to keep up. She is the perfect actress attempting to solve the perfect crime.

I started to lose track of how many twists and turns this book threw at me. Every time I thought I had a grasp on the plot and the characters, Delaney would throw yet another curveball at me, altering the course of the story yet again. Sometimes I struggled to wrap my mind around the ever-changing narrative direction. This is not a criticism. I enjoyed having to pause and drink in the scenes, parsing through each one with a scrupulous eye, attempting to piece together this sinister tale.

There is no doubt in my mind that this book will top the bestseller list this summer. It’s an excellent psychological thriller, standing out within a genre often overwrought with repetitive, cliché plots. Do yourself a favor and buy Believe Me when it hits the shelves, the only thing you might regret is how fast finish it.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for allowing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

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