Review | Disclaimer by Renée Knight

With such a brilliant premise (how has no-one thought of this before?!) and glowing reviews, I was looking forward to reading Disclaimer very much. Which is perhaps partly why I was so disappointed…

Disclaimer by Renee Knight book cover

The blurb: Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew–and that person is dead. Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day even if the shocking truth might destroy her.

My take:

I have thought very hard about why I didn’t enjoy this book. I know I’m in the minority and if you’re a fan of the suspense/thriller genre perhaps you should still give it a go.

However, I found I didn’t get attached to any of the characters. I didn’t like them, although I don’t think that was the issue. I have enjoyed lots of books where none of the characters were particularly likeable but, in these cases, I was still able to root for at least one of them. But with Disclaimer I didn’t root for anyone and so I didn’t feel any tension or suspense because I wasn’t worried for them. Instead I just felt exhausted and irritated by having to spend time in their company.

I still give it 2/5 stars because I appreciate the author’s attempt to use the narrative to show how easy it is to manipulate your impression of a person and events by presenting information in a certain light (I wasn’t surprised to find out the author is also a journalist). It’s just a shame that one consequence of this exercise in manipulation is that she couldn’t give me one character I could cheer for.

So disappointed. I really wanted to like this one 😦

 Claire Huston / Art and Soul

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