HE CHEATED. HE LIED. HE DIED.
Vicki’s husband David once promised to love her in sickness and in health. But after a brutal attack left her suffering with epilepsy, he ran away with his mistress.
So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that David is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.
What really happened on the night of David’s disappearance?
And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself?
For anyone who loved The Couple Next Door, Lisa Jewell’s Then She Was Gone and Cara Hunter’s Close To Home, this book has everything you need for the perfect summer read – gripping twists and turns, brilliant characters and a story you can’t put down.
The Dead Ex was published on the 21st June 2018 by Penguin. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book for this review and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
This is the third book from Jane Corry and, in my opinion, her best yet. I really enjoyed both My Husband’s Wife and Blood Sisters however The Dead Ex just has the edge over them with its complexity, a brilliant unreliable narrator and its ability to keep the reader questioning the events throughout the book.
The Dead Ex is centred around Vicki, an Aromatherapist who is having a normal appointment with a somewhat annoying client when the police knock at her door informing her that her ex-husband has been reported missing by his current wife, Tanya. It is clear that Vicki still has feelings for him and a possible motive so she soon comes under a lot of scrutiny from the police
Combined with Vicki’s narrative, we also hear from Scarlet in alternating chapters. Scarlet’s narrative is from ten years prior and she is an eight year old girl being manipulated and neglected by her mother. Some of Scarlet’s chapters are so heart breaking – Corry has the perfect balance of a child’s naivety and unlimited trust versus an adult reading between the lines and understanding what exactly is going on. These chapters are brilliant in their authenticity, it is as if a young girl is telling her story aloud to the reader.
For a long time, it is not clear why we are hearing from Vicki and Scarlet – I didn’t begin to guess the link until a certain sentence in the book which generated lots of questions and theories as to what was happening. This is a very deliberate act from the author!
A third voice then comes into the mix which I’m not going to elaborate on but these three storylines are beautifully interwoven into a satisfying ending….that’s all I’m going to say as I don’t want to be in danger of ruining it for anyone!!
The characterisation in the book and fabulous (as always with Corry), they are all well-developed and you really feel as though you are getting to know them as you become immersed within the pages. Vicki is a very likeable character (although she has her moments!) and Scarlet just needs the love of a good role model – for me Scarlet is the star of the show as she is just a little girl desperate for love but doesn’t realise that the ‘love’ she is receiving from her mum is actually abuse.
The Dead Ex is a clever and captivating novel which grips its reader from the start – it is multi layered, has a dual timeline with unreliable narrators…..what’s not to love!!
Jane Corry is a writer and journalist who has written regularly for numerous newspapers and magazines including The Daily Telegraph Weekend section, the Mail on Sunday and Woman. She has spent time working as the writer-in-residence of a high security prison for men – an experience that helped inspire My Husband’s Wife, her début thriller. ‘I love twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end! My husband says I’m a nightmare to watch dramas with as I love to work out who did it before the final revelation!’
You can find Jane on Twitter at @JaneCorryAuthor and on Facebook at JaneCorryAuthor.
Jane runs regular writing workshops and speaks at literary festivals all over the world, including The Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy. Until her recent move to Devon, she was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University. She is also an associate member of the Royal Literary Fund.
Many of Jane’s ideas come during her morning dog-jog along the beach followed by a dip in her wetsuit. (She’s an all-year-round swimmer provided the sea isn’t dangerous.) Jane also loves tennis, walking, reading, yoga, the ‘Quiet’ train carriage (a great ‘office’ for writing) and her family. She’s still coming to terms with being an empty-nester but makes up for it with lots of long-distance nagging! Jane’s second husband was a bachelor family friend who is also Godfather to her children. He makes her laugh every day although they can’t agree on how to load the dishwasher!