Monday, 23 November 2020

Double Deceit by Julienne Brouwers

Double Deceit by Julienne Brouwers
Published in the UK by Head Of Zeus on the 5th October 2020.

Found Them On Twitter challenge read.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jennifer Smits is a young mother, married to a hotshot lawyer and living in Amsterdam. Her world explodes when her husband is found dead at a holiday park during a weekend getaway. Convinced that the police have failed in their investigation, she embarks on a desperate quest for the truth - but the deeper she digs, the more she gets enmeshed in a tangled web of lies, spun by a ruthless law firm. 

As Jennifer's search for answers intensifies, her grip on reality weakens. Barely able to manage her patients at the health clinic, or take care of her young son, Jennifer is at risk of losing it all – even her closest friends begin to desert her. And then a chance encounter with a charming stranger sparks a new chain of events that plunges her deeper into a world of threats and corruption. Soon, she begins to fear for her life - but who can she trust, and how far will she go in pursuit of the truth?

This is a gripping, addictive thriller for fans of Angela Clarke, Mel Sherratt and Rachel Lynch, that will make you question everything, including the flaws of forensics. Could we all be framed for a murder we didn’t commit? 

I was delighted to be offered a review opportunity for Julienne Brouwers new Dutch thriller, Double Deceit. This novel starts with a brilliantly tense scene as a toddler, Jennifer's son Tim, goes temporarily missing during a family holiday. The episode brings marital disharmony to a head resulting in Jennifer's husband, Oliver, storming off. When his body is finally located, Jennifer struggles to cope with bereavement, the stresses of caring for young Tim, and with the realisation that her marriage was even more flawed than she thought. I am always intrigued by unreliable narrator stories and particularly appreciated how Brouwers handles this aspect of Double Deceit. Jennifer can clearly see her perceived truth and her convictions seem perfectly plausible to readers, but when Brouwers has Jennifer explain her findings to outsiders, I began to wonder if she really was the person I should believe.

Double Deceit is a slow-burn thriller. I appreciated Brouwers taking time to develop utterly believable characters and her detailed portrayals of Amsterdam allowed me to clearly picture more of this city than just the touristy centre with which I am familiar. Jennifer herself is a fascinating woman. Out of her depth for most of the story, she just about manages to keep up with her everyday responsibilities, but her mental fragility is always obvious. The thriller narrative itself is well paced with new information gradually being added as Jennifer refuses to stop her investigation. I loved how the atmosphere slowly darkens in reflection of her increasing paranoia. Double Deceit kept me guessing right up to the end and I very much enjoyed this compelling read.

About the Author

Julienne Brouwers worked as a pharmaceutical scientist and medical physicist before becoming a writer. She lives in the Netherlands, with her husband and three children, where she has published two successful thrillers, and lived in the UK and US for a total of four years.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Julienne Brouwers / Crime fiction / Books from the Netherlands

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