It was way back in December 2017 when I welcomed Caroline England to Linda’s Book Bag with a terrific guest post about secrets that you can read here. Since then she has stayed in with me under her other writing persona of Caro Land chatting about Convictions and you can see what happened then in this blog post.
Today, at last, I have finally got round to reading one of Caroline’s novels and I am delighted to be part of the paperback launch celebrations for Betray Her. My enormous thanks to Beth Wright at Little Brown for inviting me to participate and for sending me a copy of Betray Her in return for an honest review.
Betray Her is available for purchase through these links.
Best friends forever.
That’s the pact you made.
You’d do anything for her.
And you have.
She’s always had it all.
If you could take it for yourself . . . would you?
My Review of Betray Her
Jo and Kate have been best friends since they were 8.
Oh, yes. I very much enjoyed Betray Her. It’s really effectively plotted with a dramatic opening that lingers right through the rest of the book so that the reader wonders exactly who was involved and what it means for the narrative. Caroline England has created a very effective sense of menace that hooked me in brilliantly and had the effect of making me think about Betray Her when I wasn’t actually reading it. This story gets right under the reader’s skin.
The plot has an interesting time frame so that the way Jo and Kate’s childhood pasts are revealed contributes to the reader’s understanding of who they become in the present, but equally adds to the uneasiness of the story. Betray Her is a tantalising read. I felt I had a complete understanding of what was happening only to be wrong-footed. Caroline England’s style is incredibly fluid and easy to read so that the action she packs into Betray Her is somehow all the more captivating and shocking.
I thought Caroline England’s characterisation was quite brilliant. Although I thought some of Jo’s behaviour was foolish at best, and often completely reckless, I understood absolutely why she behaved as she did. Similarly, Kate’s more affluent upbringing gave me a clear comprehension of her adult personality. That said, I was still given shocking surprises about both of them so that Betray Her felt like a sophisticated and utterly believable portrayal of the human psyche that I found fascinating. I loved the sexual tension surrounding Jo too as an added layer of intrigue.
Sexuality is only one of the cleverly explored themes of Betray Her. Jealousy, loyalty, family, friendship, parenthood and identity create a tapestry of intrigue that really appealed to me. Indeed, I’d like to go back and reread Betray Her immediately because I think there is more to discover now I know the outcomes of the cracking plot!
I feel I haven’t done justice to Betray Her because it’s so difficult not to give plot spoilers and saying too much about character and events will ruin the read for others. What I will say is that I found the book a compelling and entertaining read that I can recommend without hesitation. I only wish I’d read Caroline England’s writing earlier.
About Caroline England
Caroline England was born and brought up in Yorkshire and studied Law at the University of Manchester. She was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer before leaving the law to bring up her three daughters and turning her hand to writing. Caroline is the author of The Wife’s Secret, previously called Beneath the Skin, and the top-ten ebook bestseller My Husband’s Lies. Betray Her is her third novel. She lives in Manchester with her family.
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