Published: February 6th, 2020
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Dark Comedy, Coming-of-Age Fiction
Welcome to my spot on the blog tour for this fantastic thriller. Thank you to HQ for the invitation to take part and the gifted copy of this novel.
JOANNE HAYNES HAS A SECRET.
THAT IS NOT HER REAL NAME.
And there’s more. Her flat isn’t hers. Her cats aren’t even hers. Even her hair isn’t really hers.
Nor is she any of the other women she pretends to be. Not the bestselling romance novelist who gets her morning snack from the doughnut van on the seafront. Nor the pregnant woman in the dental surgery. Nor the chemo patient in the supermarket for whom the cashier feels every so sorry. They’re all just alibis.
In fact, the only thing that’s real about Joanne is that nobody can know who she really is.
But someone has got too close. It looks like her alibis have begun to run out…
Absolutely, bloody brilliant! I tore through this book in under a day. The word ‘unputdownable’ couldn’t be more appropriate than when talking about books written by C.J. Skuse. Riveting, addictive and full of Skuse’s trademark dark humour, this was a joyous read despite the subject matter.
Ellis has a variety of aliases which change depending on who she’s talking to; Genevive who cleans rooms at a local hotel, single mum Joanne living in a dingy flat, doctor Mary who has just given birth to her fifth child with her gorgeous husband, Charlotte the famous novelist, a cancer patient and bride-to-be. No one knows her real name apart from Scants as it’s too dangerous for them to know. But Ellis is sure she’s being followed, that the people she’s running from have found her and her time is running out.
Skuse has a flare for turning unlikable characters into ones you take to your heart. She did it with Rhiannon in the Sweetpea series, and she has done it again with the protagonist in this book. Ellis is a compulsive liar, the girl who cries wolf. She doesn’t like or trust adults, preferring the company of children and is very child-like in her own behaviour. In dual timelines Ellis’ story is slowly revealed and we learn why she has to hide, why she invents a multitude of identities to live in and why her innocence seems so sad. It’s a harrowing and heartbreaking tale, and by the end of the book I wanted to reach through the pages and give her a big hug.
I love the raw honesty and dark, cutting humour she brings to her prose. There’s nothing else like it out there and it’s made her one of my must-read authors. The story is intriguing, keeping me guessing throughout, and with plenty of twists to keep you on your toes. I did guess most things right but there were turns the author took I wasn’t expecting but I loved as it increased the mystery and intrigue.
The Alibi Girl is an entertaining, emotional, complex and refreshing read. It is a perfect mix of mystery, thriller and dark comedy that was just what I needed after some heavy books. I can’t recommend this book, and this author, highly enough.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
C.J. Skuse is the author of the Young Adult novels Pretty Bad Things, Rockoholic, Dead Romantic (Chicken House), Monster and The Deviants. She has recently written the adult crime novels Sweetpea and its sequel for HQ/HarperCollins. C.J. was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England and has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, lectures in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.
C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and graveyards. She hates hard-boiled eggs, going to the dentist and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas – she just didn’t get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Tom Hardy present her with the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
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