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Blood Orange - review

Well what a devilishly disturbingly good read this is!

It is incredible how any good books there are, great really, as it keeps us all reading whatever the way we do it and fuels a future of visual entertainment too. 

Debuts are hard, every ounce of the writer and indeed editors and publicists goes in and it;s ever so hard to know what will happen sales and PR wise...

But, even if just a few read blogs/reviews and come to events and we all tell one other person we increase responses by 50% minimum...

So, I started this book at 5pm and read 54 pages, ate and did some admin and went to bed, I'm full of a hideous lurgy like lots have and really thought I'd nod off, no matter how good the book was or could be...

Well, midnight I had 200 odd pages whizzed past my bleary eyes and was boggling, my head was spinning, it was a maelstrom of madness and so compelling, everyday stuff tinged with some risque behaviour a brutally told narrative that races faster than you read..you struggle to keep up, and that's a good struggle. I had to be up early I had an important meeting with my MP....

I HAD to read on... it was like another 'whatever' you have a sort of craving a desire a need a want..pick your metaphor...

2am and wow..just WOW! and I wanted to tell people, but I realised you were all asleep... not everyone wants a tweet or email at 2am

But I couldn't sleep...the book had made me think and it was 3.12am when I amanged to drift off and up at 6am and well... finally here it is...

'Actions have consequences' ... so true, so bloody true

We have some wonderful characters, a roguish solicitor, very much the centre of a busy and thriving circle of work  and acquaintance, initially he is very unlike-able, but Harriet has such depth of understanding emotions and twists of plot that we are at times rooting for him, he's quite addictive in many ways I'd say is Patrick.

I could say, Oranges are not the only fruit, but without research I don't know, I know why Harriet has picked hers and it works and is a hidden gem of a plot, what we see and eat can have an effect on us.

She adds zest and pith aplenty, there are scenes of absolute bedlam both on the personal front for characters we want to see more of and feel for, we get the rawness of living a hectic demanding and in some ways secret life... We are all voyeurs at least sometimes...

There is a lot of fab legal stuff but it's not demanding or boring, it's cleverly circumstantial and interesting an insight into the culture that is real of what goes on and how folks behave whatever their status and outside lives. She taps into the current mores of social media, celebrity and our culture of drinking and smoking to an extent, all seriously well done, I am off FB and hate Whatsapp and suchlike and I think the little snippets of Gurus and suchlike she sows in the plot are exquisite flourishes of commentary.

Alison appears to have it all, a modern mum with a happy family and a job she really loves and probably enough spare cash for a splash on things, but she is living beyond her means in more ways than one, she is in a spiral of doubt and dishevelled abandon, but can and does work through it, just. She is a barrister, has her first Murder and we all think we know what has happened, it's very simple, a knife, a body and a suspect who says I did it... what can possibly go wrong! Or right.... but who is it right for and why and touching on ethics, maybe not Hippocratic, we ask questions a lot, I think it's the law...

Husband is pretty perfect, works hard and does so much, he's also suffering and we suffer with him, a 6 year old basically neglected by the mother, because she's getting herself trapped in her own mess... she even wants to be a veggie and that was a nice modern touch...

He's a therapist and ironically could help his own wife, if only he knew what she's into... but, does she know what he likes? It is disturbingly addictive to read stuff that we know happens, but never to us? Or maybe we all have the same problems and that's why we like seeing them reflected and online in others...

As always we ask, what would I do in each situation, the emotional turmoils we all go through are perfectly put in this book, it is a real book, it could and probably does happen, probably more than we know..because you wouldn't want to read much about some of it...BUT we DO!

The ability to see what happens through the eyes of a main character who sort of doesn't see herself is a fab device, when she does see herself..she doesn't really know what to say, but, she does do things about it... 

There are many layers to this book, it's sensationally a page turner with plot and characters, ideal for one sit readers and I'd imagine book clubs will love it. It's dark but not too dark, it actually has quite a wit to it too, the pith of the Orange no less. But rally it is the Zest of it that makes eyes water and things pop...

Harriet is doing events, we have one in Bolton on Weds 27th Feb 1pm at the wonderful Central Library BL1 1SE get onto Eventbrite and keep in touch and come... The book is a HB at £10 from us and free postage..we are nice you know... Paypal is easiest tonythebook@live.co.uk

Support Libraries, support people who strive to get the best out of life and offer their souls for your pleasure... plus there are 2 other fab authors with us on the day, Alex Michaelides and Silent Patient and Ashley Dyer and Splinter in the Blood... so maybe bring a credit card!

follow @purplepengpub and @boltonlms and the authors and RT it helps! 

A genuine mind blowing read of real consequences played out to the full... and Apples can be hacked!