The Other Half by Charlotte Vassell – a review

I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of The Other Half by the publisher Faber who promised it was an incredible debut and they weren’t mistaken!

The Other Half starts with Rupert’s birthday. It’s his 30th and he is hosting a black tie event complete with champagne and cocaine, the venue is McDonalds on Kentish Road. The morning after the party Rupert’s girlfriend Clemmie is found dead on Hampsted Heath. Detective Cauis Beauchamp is called in to investigate. He soon finds out that when it comes to crimes of the wealthy secrets are well hidden.

The Other Half is the debut novel by Charlotte Vassell and I can safely say it is one of the best books I have read in a long time (and I have read a lot of superb books) It is a really fun read with a great mix of comedy threaded through the crime story. Some of the one liners in the book are absolutely whip smart, the type that suddenly hit you a second after you have read it.

There is a great range of characters in this story although very few were actually likeable. To say they were flawed would be rather an understatement. Rupert was a typical narcissist who believed that his wealth meant he was not only above the law but above basic morals. He completely lacked self-awareness, and almost seemed to believe that every thing he did he did for love.

I did however like the character of Cauis, having recently been dumped he is on a a mission of self-improvement. His attempts at healthy eating and conquering a hill make a nice break from the champagne swilling, cocaine sniffing party set.

The writing style was sharp and punchy. The short fast sentences along with the tightly woven chapters and the quickly changing points of view made it a really fast paced read that was an absolute page turner.

I would highly recommend The Other Half and look forward to reading more from Charlotte Vassell.

Buy your own copy here


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