Title: Her Greatest Mistake
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I am thrilled to take part in the blog tour for Sarah Simpson's riveting debut novel Her Greatest Mistake, a suspenseful psychological thriller exploring dysfunctional relationships and the dark corners of the human psyche. For excerpts, author interviews and more, make sure to stop by other blogs participating in this blog tour (schedule attached).
Do we ever know what goes on behind closed doors?
Eve and Gregg were the perfect couple, with the perfect marriage...which has become the perfect lie. Gone is the charming, attentive Gregg - instead Eve wakes up each morning beside a manipulative and sinister man who controls his wife’s every move.
So Eve flees her immaculate marital home to keep herself, and young son Jack safe. Yet no matter how careful she has been, she knows Gregg will be relentless in his pursuit of his missing family. And that one day, when she's least expecting it, he will find them...
What was Eve’s greatest mistake?
Marrying Gregg? Leaving him? Or leaving him alive…?
Wow! This book certainly packed some punch! I was not surprised to find out that the author has a psychology degree and vast experience in working with patients with mental health issues. Simpson’s insights into what makes a psychopath tick and how dysfunctional dynamics are being sustained in a marriage are insightful and take this story to another level altogether.
Eve, our main protagonist, is a successful psychologist with parents, friends and colleagues who love and value her. All that changes when she meets Gregg, falls in love and gets married. It doesn’t take long for the cracks to appear as the marriage slides into a game of power and control in which Eve finds herself ensnared. Have you ever looked at a domestic violence situation and wondered why the victim stays with her partner? Have you ever blamed her for her own situation? Be honest! Eve is aware of what is happening to her, and yet she allows herself to become estranged and isolated from all her support people until she is solely at the mercy of her controlling spouse. How could this happen? Over the course of the story, Simpson carefully explores Eve’s insights into her own situation, and they will shock and surprise you.
But this is not simply a book about marriage and abuse, because Simpson has spun it into a riveting thriller that picks up pace as the story moves along, right up to its explosive finale. Because it is now twelve years later, and Eve has made a new life for herself and her teenage son, away from Gregg’s clutches. Gregg appears to have disappeared off the face of the earth, and Eve prays that it will remain so. Until a note is slipped into her briefcase, and she is forced to relive the trauma of her marriage all over again. Will she ever be able to break free from Gregg’s clutches?
I admit that it took me a little while to get used to the narration style, which is mainly Eve “talking to” Gregg as she recaps the events that led up to her current situation. It’s an unusual style I’m not usually fond of, but as the story progressed I found that it was befitting this tale of power and abuse and helped to explore the dynamics that drive these characters. Once I got into the story, it carried me with it like a runaway train, depositing me firmly into the midst of troubled minds – that of the abuser and the victim. Fascinating? Yes. Disturbing? Definitely! Some passages evoked an almost visceral response of anger and disgust that made me want do away with Gregg myself. It always reflects the skill of a writer to be able to kindle such sparks in the minds of her readers!
Without any further ado, and for fear of giving something away that would spoil the suspense for other readers, just let me say that I really enjoyed Simpson’s debut novel and look forward to reading more from this talented author. Her insights into the dynamics that sustain dysfunctional relationships and her experience in exploring the dark corners of the human psyche provided additional depth to this suspenseful thriller that is often lacking in similar novels. Highly recommended to lovers of the genre who enjoy character driven stories of suspense that focus on relationship dynamics.
About the author:
Sarah Simpson has a first-class honours degree in Psychology and has worked in a neuro-psychology department at a Brain Rehabilitation Hospital. When she first graduated she formed a mental health consultancy and worked as a psychologist within the family court system of Warwickshire and Oxfordshire. Three years ago she moved to Cornwall with her husband and three children, and runs her own practice in Truro. Her Greatest Mistake is her first novel, and she is currently working on the second.