Tuesday, June 16

Disclaimer by Renée Knight

After finding a mysterious novel at her bedside, Catherine Ravenscroft decides to give it a try. The suspenseful story draws her in, but then she realizes this isn’t any ordinary novel. Somehow this novel recreates a dark event in her life, and the only other person who could possibly know the details has been long dead. She’d hoped the past was behind her, but now all of her memories come crashing back in. She has no idea who wrote the novel, but whoever it is torments her with it.

Disclaimer alternates between Catherine’s first person POV and the author’s first person POV while occasionally switching over to side characters. The story starts quickly, and Catherine discovers the novel early on, hooking me early on. After the first few chapters the story slows down to a slow burns, as author Renée Knight begins to slowly tease additional information, hiding all of the exact details of what the mysterious book contains. Roughly halfway through the story suddenly jumps again and speeds to the end before wrapping up in a surprising reveal that I did not see coming.

In the end I was left with mixed feelings. While I was hooked early on, the slow burn in the first half of the story began to drag far too long and for much of it I found the author of the book to be a fairly uninteresting character until the half way point. Once the pace sped back up I found myself being drawn into the story again, and until near the end found myself enjoying the story quite a bit.

Unfortunately the ending (and this is where I enter into vague spoiler-ish territory, though I will not give specific details) unraveled that feeling a bit for me. The big twist, while certainly surprising, disappointed me. It was the sort of thing that I felt should’ve (and would’ve) come out earlier. But, because the reveal had a major impact on the plot, Knight decided to place it at the very end, where it doesn’t feel like a natural fit.

Ultimately Disclaimer was suspenseful read and had an interesting premise, but the pacing issues and out of place twist kept me from entirely enjoying it.

Oh, and one final note (which didn’t impact my thoughts on the story). While I quite like the American cover for this book, it gave me the impression that there was some sort of government cover up involved. Rather, the UK cover matches the story much better.

3/5 Stars

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

About Disclaimer

Hardcover: 352 pages • Publisher: Harper (May 19, 2015)
What if you realized the terrifying book you were reading was all about you?
A brilliantly conceived, deeply disturbing psychological thriller about a woman haunted by secrets—and the price she will pay for concealing the truth.
When a mysterious novel appears at Catherine Ravenscroft's bedside, she is curious. She has no idea who might have sent her The Perfect Stranger—or how it ended up on her nightstand. At first, she is intrigued by the suspenseful story that unfolds.
And then she realizes.
This isn't fiction.
The Perfect Stranger re-creates in vivid, unmistakable detail the day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew—and that person is dead.
Now that the past Catherine so desperately wants to forget is catching up with her, her world is falling apart. Plunged into a living nightmare, she knows that her only hope is to confront what really happened on that terrible day . . . even if the shocking truth may destroy her.
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Renee KnightAbout Renée Knight

Renée Knight worked for the BBC directing arts documentaries and has had TV and film scripts commissioned by the BBC, Channel Four, and Capital Films. In April 2013, she graduated from the Faber Academy "Writing a Novel" course, whose alumni include S. J. Watson. She lives in London with her husband and two children.

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