The Confession – Jo Spain

About the book header




Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. It looks like Harry’s many sins – corruption, greed, betrayal – have finally caught up with him.

An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled.

Has Carney’s surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game?

The Confession is published by Quercus Books on the 25th January (11th January in eBook). Many thanks to the publisher and author for my early copy.

My Review

There has been a lot of publicity surrounding The Confession on social media so I was over the moon to be lucky enough receive an advanced copy to read as it sounded fabulous. The premise of The Confession caught my attention, the fact that the reader knows who the perpetrator is right from the start however the reasons behind it are not clear. Jo Spain is already an Irish bestseller for her DI Tom Reynolds books however this is the author’s first psychological thriller…and what a book it is!

The Confession is set in Ireland during the aftermath of Celtic Tiger, the rapid economic growth of Ireland fuelled by a housing bubble ending with Ireland’s subsequent recession in 2008. Harry McNamara built up HM Capital bank and was part of the Celtic Tiger generation, he was a strong business man who was most definitely not risk adverse. He met his wife, Julie, early on in his career and they had an extremely wealthy lifestyle, living in a home worth millions on the edge of a golf course in a prestigious area – they appeared to have everything. However Harry became another disgraced banker, blamed for the downfall of the Irish economy due to his questionable actions and decisions – although he managed to escape the recession better than others considering the wealth he retained. Life seemed good for Harry and Julie post HM Capital, that is until JP Carney walks into their home one evening and brutally attacks Harry.

What follows is a powerful narrative full of twists and turns, told by DS Alice Moody who is responsible for the investigation, Julie and JP. The writing in this book is spectacular, it is amazing how quickly Spain’s narrative draws you in and carefully unravels the reason for the attack.

The characterisation in this book is fabulous. Harry is a sleazy businessman who flirts to get ahead and doesn’t care who sees it although I think deep down his love for his wife was real….in a very warped-way-of-showing-it way! Julie was a complex character and I’m still not sure whether I liked her or not, whether I felt sorry for her or despised her. JP, on the other hand, I loved which is a very strange thing to say about the self-confessed murderer! We hear about both the past and present from JP and Julie; we learn of JP’s terrible upbringing as well as the history of Julie and Harry’s relationship. All these threads weave brilliantly into a strong, complex plot with different sides and perspectives of ultimately one story.

I enjoyed the pacing of the story, the back stories added an extra dimension to the current events and the use of the economic boom and recession certainly gave this book its realism.

The Confession is a wonderfully dark and compelling read that is completely addictive right from the first chapter! Highly recommended and a great start to my 2018 reading.

About the Author

Jo SpainJo Spain’s first novel, top ten bestseller With our Blessing, was one of seven finalists in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition 2015. It was named as an Irish Times crime fiction book of the year by Declan Burke. Beneath the Surface (2016) and Sleeping Beauties (2017), the second and third in the DI Tom Reynolds series followed, to further critical acclaim. Her standalone thriller, The Confession, was released in January 2018.

Jo is currently writing for TV.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children. Jo previously worked as a policy advisor in the Irish parliament and as vice-chair of the business body InterTrade Ireland


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