Hope you’re all keeping well. I have been AWOL for what feels like forever but probably hasn’t been that long in the grand scheme of things. I’ve been busier than usual with work and I’m going away on holiday in a few days so my head has been in preparation for that. As a result, I haven’t got nearly as much reading done as I would have liked and I’m disappointed with how I closed out June. But never mind. Onwards and upwards.
Thank you to @avonbooksuk and @cltaylorauthor for this advanced audio copy of The Guilty Couple in return for an honest review. The Guilty Couple was published on 23rd June 2022 and you can get a copy here.
Olivia Sutherland has spent the last five years in prison after being wrongly accused of plotting to have her husband (at the time) Dominic murdered. Now she’s no longer in prison she has some very clear objectives for her life; reunite with her teenage daughter and repair their relationship, prove her innocence and out her ex-husband for being the one who set her up.
Olivia will have to go to extremes to achieve her goals. Has her time in prison amongst career criminals prepared her for this? And will Dominic allow her to go through with her plans? He has secrets that Olivia couldn’t have dreamed up and scarily, it’s more than Olivia’s freedom at stake, it’s her life.
General Thoughts 🤔
I would consider myself a C.L. Taylor fan as I have read quite a few of her books and obviously I must enjoy them because I keep going back for more. Although I did enjoy this book, I don’t think it quite measured up to the others that I have read before. Personally, I thought that the story was somewhat dragged out and there was a large percentage of the book where it seemed like lots had happened but really nothing much had progressed.
On the upside, the plot itself was full of twists and there were some good gotchas sewn in. Though I didn’t find the ending that surprising, there were some small threads to the story that did take me by surprise.
Olivia was the main character and I have to admit that I found her kind of frustrating. She’d spent such a long time (at least what I would consider a long time) in prison, I’d have thought she’d have gotten a bit more rough around the edges. However I felt like she was almost pretending to have the confidence to go through with things but when it came down to it, she’d chicken out, or ruin the plan. All of that said. I felt every bit of desperation from this woman. Ultimately, she wanted her daughter back and she was definitely persistent in going about doing that.
I really liked Smithy as one of the sideline characters. Yes, she was definitely not a law abiding citizen, but I thought that she was loyal and that she was a good friend to Olivia. There were some ups and downs between them but in the end, I think it was clear that they had a solid friendship.
Writing Style ✍️
I have a theory about why this book seemed to drag on for me and it’s about how many plots were included. There were a lot of side plots and I think it distracted from the main plot in a negative way as opposed to throwing readers of the scent. I am all for a complex story with lots of characters weaved into it, but every plot has to feel like it has a purpose and I’m not sure that this book achieved that unfortunately.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
I really did want to love this book but sadly, it just missed the mark for me. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not something I would shout about to my friends. I’m probably being a bit generous with my rating, but I don’t do halves and because I know that this author is capable of so much more, I’ll round up as opposed to down.