Disclaimer by Renee Knight
Published in 2015 by Black Swan
My version: Library
When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up and begins to read.
But as she turns the pages she is horrified to realize she is a key character, a main player.
This story will reveal her darkest secret.
A secret she thought no one else knew…
When I first started this book, I was fully expecting a run-of-the-mill thriller. We have a woman with a secret she wants to be hidden – so no doubt we are in for a long, drawn-out novel where the big secret will be revealed at the very end … by which time I will have lost interest.
But actually I was proved wrong, and there was a lot more to this thriller. While Catherine’s story is told in the third person, alternate chapters are told in the first person by Stephen, who it soon becomes clear is very much involved in the writing of the novel that Catherine has mysteriously received. And as we slowly find out more about Stephen, he is clearly not all that he seems either. Throughout the book, we are never quite sure who to trust.
The two different points of view – and in fact there are a few others throw in here and there too – give the story depth and I did find it hard to put down as the novel gathered pace. There are a few twists and red herrings, and I really liked the way the story slowly came together as it progressed.
There are many parts of the book that are pretty implausible – not least Stephen’s transformation from an old man who has never used anything more modern than a typewriter, to a proficient Facebook user who can competently set up fake profiles and use them to his advantage – and although I really got into this book, it was after I finished it and looked back that I thought “how ridiculous!” about quite a few of the plot twists.
But this doesn’t take away from the fact that I really enjoyed the book while I was reading it and got totally stuck into it and didn’t want to put it down. I found the story cleverly done – despite having to suspend my disbelief – and I liked the way we are never certain which way the story is going to go.