Other Women by Jean Levy – a suspense filled thriller with wonderful characters and many surprises
Many relationships have secrets, and the relationships in this novel have more than most with multiple identities and big conspiracies. Sophie is a young woman with a lot – a partner, a baby and a secure home. All of this is threatened on one traumatic morning as an accident leads to a set of repercussions surrounding Jonah, about whom nothing can be assumed. This is a confident and powerful story of hidden motives and deception which is compelling reading. It succeeds mainly because it is Sophie’s story, as she is plunged into terrible situations where she rightly does not know who to trust. As Sam, a trustworthy English lecturer and potential partner becomes involved along with his equally attractive brother, was he really just in the right place at the right time? What is the connection with a highly lucrative scheme and a dead body in a wood? Can Sophie protect herself and her child in the face of a practiced deceiver with a complex secret life? I found this a stunning read which kept me awake for all the right reasons as I became so involved in the story of Sophie and the twists and turns of her life. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this well written book.
Sophie and Jonah have been together for five years as the novel begins on a normal day in mid August. While he can be difficult to live with, detesting any sort of scent or smell and working away from home for extended periods, Sophie is stunned when he quietly states that he is leaving her and moving out of the house. As she tries to reason with him, to discover what has prompted this move, she falls and pushes him against a toolbox into the road. His ear is severed, but worse is a head injury which means that he is rushed into surgery and intensive care. A passing stranger, Sam, appears with a damaged bike and the offer of help. Suzie is a young woman who also offers assistance as Sophie tries to cope with a departing partner who has sustained severe injuries and a small child. When further revelations destabilise Sophie’s entire life, Sam is a constant source of support and more, but can he be trusted?
This is a mature and exciting thriller which has lots of elements that maintain the tension building to an exciting climax. There is mystery over a criminal scheme which explains the involvement of several characters. I enjoyed the dialogue throughout this book, especially between Sam and Sophie which often suggests an endearing sense of humour. The surprises, twists and turns in this novel are genuinely disconcerting, as Levy carefully maintains the tensions and revelations throughout, and the reader makes discoveries alongside Sophie. This is a carefully constructed thriller based on a very human story and the narrative is controlled and feels realistic. I greatly enjoyed this book, finding it lively and exciting. The characters are strongly and consistently drawn, with a great sense of life and depth. I strongly recommend this book to those who enjoy a crime and mystery novel, and also those who want a human interest story.