I’m thrilled to be part of the paperback celebrations for Jenny Blackhurst’s psychological thriller Before I Let You In. Before I Let You In is published by Headline and available in e-book and paperback by following the publisher links.
Before I Let You In
Karen is meant to be the one who fixes problems.
It’s her job, as a psychiatrist – and it’s always been her role as a friend.
But Jessica is different. She should be the patient, the one that Karen helps.
But she knows things about Karen. Her friends, her personal life. Things no patient should know.
And Karen is starting to wonder if she should have let her in . . .
My Review of Before I Let You In
Psychiatrist Karen’s new patient Jessica isn’t quite what she seems!
I have to admit that for the first thirty pages or so I didn’t think I was going to enjoy Before I Let You In. It felt a bit disjointed and initially I didn’t warm to the characters of Karen, Bea and Eleanor. However, it wasn’t long before I was totally in the grip of this clever novel and I frequently found myself exclaiming aloud at the plot. Indeed, I have no idea how Jenny Blackhurst managed to create such an intricate narrative. It’s always difficult to say too much without giving away the story, but I though it was intelligent, surprising and scarily plausible. I liked the way the narrative was divided into three sections like traditional plays so that reading Before I Let You In made me think of traditional Greek and Shakespearean themes and characters, providing an extra layer of enjoyment.
The characters themselves are all flawed but equally human. Although she’s actually present in few scenes, Jessica remains an underlying menacing presence throughout so that the reader is never quite sure what will be uncovered or what will happen next. The past is as much a part of the story as the events happening in the present, making the reader question just what has gone on, creating tension and excitement. I found the first person narrative that intersperses the third person stories of Bea, Karen and Eleanor quite chilling. Disturbing events are often dealt with in a matter of fact manner that adds to the atmosphere too.
The themes of Before I Let You In are so well handled. Friendship, identity, post-natal depression, adultery – they are all here in a magnificent tapestry leaving the reader entertained, informed and sometimes uncomfortable. This is powerful writing.
What I enjoyed most about reading Before I Let You In was that I assumed I had it all worked out all the way along. I loved that Jenny Blackhurst proved me wrong.
About Jenny Blackhurst
Jenny Blackhurst grew up in Shropshire where she still lives with her husband and children. Growing up she spent hours reading and talking about crime novels – writing her own seemed like natural progression. Inspired by the emotions she felt around her own son’s birth, How I Lost You was Jenny’s thrilling debut crime novel.