During the festival back in July there was a twitter competition to win a copy of Julia Crouch’s new novel, Her Husband’s Lover. I had completely forgotten about the competition until I received a copy of the novel through my door. I am a huge fan of Julia, having once had the privilege to be on her table during a murder mystery dinner, so this was very exciting.
There is of course a problem when you read novels by people who you really like. There is always the danger they won’t live up to the previous ones. Well I need not have worried, as this was superb.
Her Husband’s lover starts with Louisa recovering from a car crash in which both her husband and her two children died. In order to recover she moves away from the house they lived in and gets herself a new flat and job in a big city. Unfortunately her husband’s lover Sophie is not quite so happy to move on and tracks her down demanding that Louisa giver her money.
This was an excellent novel that I really enjoyed. It starts off as a relatively simple tale of an abused wife trying to rebuild her life whilst trying not to let her husband’s mistress ruin her life even more. Yet it soon unravels into something altogether more chilling. The story is told mainly from the viewpoints of Louisa and Sophie with flashbacks to the time of Louisa’s marriage to Sam. This gives a real sense of a slow unfolding drama that positively ramps up the tension.
The writing is as usual superb, and you are drawn into the lives of the two main characters. Yet as you read you start to get an uneasy feeling about everything. The ending itself was incredibly disturbing and it will stay with you even when the book is back on the shelf. As with all of Julia’s novels the characters are incredibly realistic and you quickly get drawn into their lives.
I would thoroughly recommend all of Julia’s novels but personally I think this is one of the best. It was certainly worth the twitter picture.