Thursday, February 20, 2014

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

Louise Doughty's psychological thriller Apple Tree Yard takes a compelling look at the dark places that exist inside us. It opens with a critical moment in court:

"The moment builds; it swells and builds -- the moment when I realise we have lost."

That moment is when perjury is uncovered. Doughty then takes us backwards, to the details of a passionate extramarital affair that led up to that point. The downfall of a love gone wrong.

The pacing is perfect: "it swells and builds." Not rushed. Inexorable.

Yvonne is a geneticist, a smart and capable woman. She loves her husband. She is happy in her life with him. What motivates her to get involved with a man who enjoys sex in risky places? The characters and their relationships are fascinating and utterly believable.

Readalikes: The Forgotten Waltz (Anne Enright); Sweet Tooth (Ian McEwan); and Before I Go to Sleep (SJ Watson).

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