Book Review: What Alice Knew by T.A. Cotterell

After interviewing author T.A. Cotterell for the Blog Tour (you can read his interesting interview here), today I'm reviewing What Alice Knew, a psychological thriller with many new and shocking ingredients.  

Title: What Alice Knew
Author: T.A. Cotterell
Published by Transworld:
ebook - December 1st 2016
paperback - April 17th 2017

Blurb: Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up. 

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Review: I finished What Alice Knew a couple of weeks ago already but I wanted to wait a few days before writing the review to gather my thoughts. I think this is a book with many layers that makes you doubt every character and even yourself with every new chapter. The story is narrated by Alice, a portraitist with a loving husband and beautiful children. At first sight, she's living a perfect life but then, her husband disappears one night and when he comes back, their lives change forever.

I found it difficult to like her, her coldness and logic were like a barrier around her and I had mixed feelings about her for most part of the book. I could understand some of her actions but some left me wondering what kind of person she was. But T.A. Cotterell created such a tense atmosphere that I couldn't stop reading. The lines between right and wrong, moral and immoral were blurred and I never knew what the characters would do next.

Alice, as an artist, was always looking for the truth in her paintings. But then, when she found out the truth about her husband, she wasn't sure anymore. Was it really that important to seek the truth when it only brought you pain? I found this contrast really clever. It made you really feel the struggles in Alice and even wonder... what you would do in her place.

I think what makes this thriller stand out is that it tells you from the beginning who the bad guy is but then, it makes you doubt if he really is such a bad guy. Plus, it has quite an open to interpretation ending that will make you wonder for many days after finishing reading. This is a book to discuss, to talk about and to theorize about. I would definitely recommend it to a book group. Clever, shocking and with many fresh ingredients, this makes for a fantastic psychological thriller. 

Rating: 4 stars

I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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