Published by: Aria (1st November 2017)
1931: Fifteen year old Kate witnesses her mother Millicent push a stranger from a station platform into the path of an oncoming train. There was no warning, seemingly no reason, and absolutely no remorse. 1940: Exactly nine years later, Kate returns to the station and notices a tramp laying flowers on the exact spot that the murder was committed; the identity of the victim, still remains unknown. With a country torn apart by war and her family estate and name in tatters, Kate has nothing to lose as she attempts to uncover family secrets that date back to the Great War and solve a mystery that blights her family name.
I am a big fan of Jennifer's debut, The Liar, so I was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to read this, her second book. The Murderess begins with teenager Kate seeing her mother push the stranger onto the train tracks. The story is narrated alternately by Kate and her mother Millicent. I found this way of getting the story across very effective. It gave me as a reader a chance to get to know what mother and daughter really thought about each other, throughout each aspect of the whole story.
This book is part historical fiction, part dark and twisty crime/psychological thriller. There are more than a few surprises, including the shocking ending! There were also things that really made me think. Jennifer writes with such intelligence, her books really are a pleasure to read. I'm looking forward to her third already!
Published by: Aria (6 October 2016)
It's 1935 and housewife Emma glimpses a face in a crowd – a little girl with a very unique birthmark. Transfixed by the sight of a stranger; Emma becomes convinced that the girl is her long-lost daughter taken from her at birth. There is only one problem: Emma's daughter is dead. So who is the stranger? The Liar follows Emma's journey as she tries to find out what really happened to her daughter - a journey that unearths secrets from the past and ends in obsession. . .
I'm so pleased I got the opportunity to meet the author and find out about this book, because if I'd seen it in a book shop I'd probably have walked straight past; it just doesn't look like the sort of book I'd usually enjoy. I'm not into historical or family saga or even romance particularly, which is where you'd find The Liar on Amazon. The back cover blurb hinted at the mystery inside and piqued my interest enough for me to buy a copy there and then. I think it would work really well if it was re-branded...I'd describe it as a psychological thriller, and a pretty damn good one at that!
This is a tale told from two perspectives - Emma's and Ruby's, the little girl who resembles Emma's daughter. The author's clever use of vocabulary and writing style drew me in from the outset and made the environment come alive. I really felt as though I was there beside Emma as tried to find out what had happened to her daughter.
The complex characters are well written, and the relationships sensitively conveyed. I pretty much read this in one sitting, I just couldn't put it down! Just when i thought i had figured out what was going to happen next, along came another twist. What happened at the end is truly shocking! For a first novel, this is fantastic and I cannot recommend it enough! Jennifer Wells is one to watch!
I'm not impressed with this so far. When I originally heard about it, it was billed as linguistic science fiction, but that's not really what I'm getting from it. The main character seems to be just sort of naturally linguistically gifted, and the alien's one appearance indicates that it's probably telepathic. Add to that my extreme dislike of the character I think is being set up as the main character's love interest, and the result is disappointment. Here's hoping it improves.