Published April 27th, 2023 by Harper Collins UK
Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Crime Ficiton, Psychological Fiction
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour celebrating the paperback publication of The Guilty Couple. Thank you to Maddie at Avon Books for the invitation to take part and the gifted proof.
‘Wow. Addictive. And what an ending!’ – Sunday Times bestselling author Claire Douglas
‘A red-hot, non-stop rollercoaster of a book’ – Sunday Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell
What would you do if your husband framed you for murder?
Five years ago, Olivia Sutherland was convicted of plotting to murder her husband.
Now she’s finally free, Olivia has three goals. Repair her relationship with her daughter. Clear her name. And bring down her husband – the man who framed her.
Just how far is she willing to go to get what she wants? And how far will her husband go to stop her?
Because his lies run deeper than Olivia could ever have imagined – and this time it’s not her freedom that’s in jeopardy, but her life…
Olivia Sutherland is on trial for plotting to murder her husband, Dominic, and is awaiting the jury’s verdict. Though she maintains her innocence, she is found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison.
Five years later, Olivia is finally released. Her priority is rebuilding her relationship with her daughter, Grace, but she also has two other goals: prove her innocence and bring down the man who framed her – her husband. But Dominic’s lies run far deeper than Olivia ever imagined and this time she is at risk of losing more than her freedom…
I’m a big fan of C. L. Taylor but it’s been a minute since I read one of her books, so I was excited to start The Guilty Couple. And what a return to her books it was! Intriguing, compelling and suspenseful, I was hooked from the first pages and flew through it in under a day. It’s been a reminder of why I love her books so much and am now pushing some of her unread backlist higher up my TBR.
Adultery, conspiracy to murder, false incriminations, injustice, betrayal, and even tween angst. This book has them all. It is a messy minefield that is ripe for conflict and suspicion, which the author skillfully explores to unearth as much tension, animosity, and distrust as possible. And as if all of that wasn’t enough, there is also the sense of something underlying; something sinister burrowed deeper underground than any of us can see which adds to the sense of foreboding (I’m looking at you, Dom). The clues are drip-fed slowly to keep the reader guessing but as things spin further out of control there is a sense of urgency that makes your heart race. It was also hard to predict and I didn’t see the truth until it was right in front of me despite my many different theories and suspicions.
This is multi-narrative storytelling at its best. Ms. Taylor uses the various narrators to increase the tension and keep the reader on the edge of their seats, creating that perfect balance between giving us more information than the characters and holding enough back to keep our attention. The characters are all complicated, flawed and conflicted, with some being more likeable and sympathetic than others, and the background characters are as richly drawn, captivating, and vital to the story as the narrators. Olivia is a great protagonist because she isn’t perfect. She also isn’t immune to making foolish or reckless decisions that made me want to jump into the book and shake her. But we can see that her bad decisions are driven by sheer desperation, wanting to clear her name, and to get vengeance for what was taken from her. It doesn’t make it right, but it does make it more understandable and she was easy to root for. I also loved her relationship with Smithy, her former cellmate. I had a real soft sport for this character despite her many flaws and loved the bond between the two women.
When it comes to deplorable characters, there is no one more abhorrent in this book than Dominic. God, I hated that man! Alarm bells rang quickly and I didn’t trust this slippery weasel of a man. Ruthless, cunning and vindictive, he made me so angry every time he was on the page and I couldn’t wait for him to get his comeuppance, especially because of how arrogant he was about everything he did.
Intricately woven, enmeshed in drama, and nail-bitingly tense, The Guilty Couple is a riveting thriller you won’t be able to put down.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Cally Taylor, better known by her alias C. L. Taylor, is a Sunday Times Bestselling author whose pyschological thrillers have sold sold over a million copies in the UK alone, been translated into over twenty languages, and optioned for television. Her 2019 novel, Sleep, was a Richard and Judy pick.
Cally Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son.
BUY THE BOOK:
Waterstones | Amazon | Bookshop.org
Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxx
*Purchase links are affiliate links