Blood Orange Lib/E Audio CD – CD, 19 February 2019
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|Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged||
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Unabridged edition (19 February 2019)
- Language: : English
- ISBN-10 : 1549178288
- ISBN-13 : 978-1549178283
- Dimensions : 16.51 x 3.18 x 15.88 cm
- Customer Reviews:
Kept me frantically turning the pages, desperate to know what would happen next. A superb, compulsive read!-- "Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author"
About the Author
Julie Teal is an actress who has appeared in such films and television shows as Doctors, Midsomer Murders, EastEnders, Waking the Dead, and The Bill, among others.
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Top reviews from Australia
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Alison has it all, perfect family, wonderful career and she’s just been given her first murder trial. But, early on we see she’s not happy. She loves a wine (I mean who doesn’t) and she drinks to escape reality!
Then there’s Patrick, not Alison’s husband, but a colleague and the person that giver her co-council on her first murder trial. Defendant, Madeline is the perfect wife and mother yet she’s now on trial for murdering her husband.
There were elements where I started to piece parts together. Her husband Carl didn’t sit well with me. On paper he was a doting husband but in reality their marriage he was far from
Top reviews from other countries
The opening pages which introduce the 'blood orange' theme nearly put me off the whole thing, they remind me of something out of a bad self-published KU novel (to say nothing of the endorsements from a lot of authors many of whom on my personal avoid-list) - but the book improves drastically from then on. I wouldn't describe it as 'heart pounding' the threatening texts to Alison form a pretty minor part of the story and most of the things that happen to her seem to be down to her own bad judgement. The final twist pretty much comes from nowhere and is supposed to justify Alison's drunken excesses and self-serving conduct. The final message seems to be that woman can never be wrong only wronged and men are always to blame.
The blurb says that this author took writing classes – well in my opinion she needs to take a few more. She has plenty of raw talent but overall I found this book unsatisfactory. The murder plot involving the client needs to be fleshed out a lot more and it needs a new title – the whole blood orange thing feels tagged on to give the book a touch of originality but really plays very little part in the narrative.
Just a personal gripe – I’m sick to death of Amazon hyping everything as ‘the best thriller of 2019’ or whatever. As a reader I’ll be the judge of that!
Unfortunately, I'm now a bit annoyed with myself for being swayed by the marketing, because I found this book disappointing. The protagonist is Alison, a barrister married to therapist Carl, with whom she has a young daughter, Matilda. Alison is having an affair with Patrick, a work colleague: it's the sort of affair that involves Alison getting drunk after work with her fellow lawyers and then having rough sex in the office before passing out. Carl, left at home to look after Matilda, is understandably unhappy with Alison's heavy drinking and broken promises, but he's so sanctimonious and sneering about literally everything - including her cooking, her childcare abilities and her appearance, all of which she actually makes a lot of effort with - that it's hard to feel particularly sorry for him, particularly while Alison's well-paid job is financing his career and paying the mortgage on the home in which he runs a support group for men suffering from sex addiction.
Riddled with guilt, Alison repeatedly tries to end her relationship with Patrick - who is also awful, by the way - but willpower isn't her strong suit, particularly when she finds herself working with him on a murder case. The defendant has stabbed her husband to death and fully intends to plead guilty, but Alison is convinced there's something not quite right about her client's testimony and is determined to find out the truth. While Alison starts to uncover the truth about the build-up to the murder, she starts to receive anonymous, threatening text messages - and they're clearly from someone who knows her guilty secrets.
As you can probably tell, this is one of those books in which the protagonist is a terrible mess who makes self-destructive, risky decisions - all very The Girl On The Train. However, the problem here is that everyone else in the book is also appalling, and there's not enough else happening to make this interesting. Carl and Patrick felt like caricatures to me - Carl's sneering, petty superiority and his earnest talk of his men's group and their 'breakthroughs' are sharply observed, and Patrick's line-blurring behaviour towards women and subsequent self-pity are also recognisable, but there's not a lot more to them than that.
This isn't, however, my biggest issue with this book, which is that it is blindingly obvious what's going to happen. It's not so much foreshadowed as clearly signposted at every turn. Psychological thrillers like this rely on eerie tension, constant uncertainty and ideally an unforeseen jaw-dropper of a twist, but I found none of these in Blood Orange. Perhaps this a case of an author believing they were writing one sort of book and the publisher marketing it as another.
I won't go on, because I'd have to spoil the plot, but it's enough to say that I'd be amazed if the outcome of this story surprises many readers and I found myself waiting for a revelation that never came.
When I first heard about it, I thought that the title sounded very intriguing and it made the book stand out, which is one of the reasons it jumped right to the top of my TBR pile. I still haven’t forgotten that ending and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about it any time soon. It has an incredible plot twist that I didn’t see coming.
The protagonist, Alison has just been handed her first murder case, and she is hoping that it will take her career to the next level, but as she is caught up in trying to prove her new client’s innocence, her own family life begins to crumble. Alison is having an affair with one of her colleagues, which she is trying to stop, but she is finding this increasingly hard to do. And she is also under a lot of pressure from her husband who is accusing her of putting her work first before the needs of her own family.
Alison was such a great character. Harriet plays with the reader’s emotions towards her which is what I found particularly captivating as the plot evolved and it was done in a very clever way. As the novel began I felt I didn’t have a lot of empathy for Alison as she was cheating on her husband, but I grew to like her, and I was rooting for her towards the end of the book. The affair was one of the most gripping plot points of the novel as I continued to wonder if they were going to be discovered and what the repercussions were going to be for Alison. And there is also some very interesting character study, particularly, I thought in Alison’s new client. I won’t go into any further detail here as I don’t want to spoil the plot but I do think that Alison is a character who will divide many readers and prompt many discussions in book groups.
There are some tense moments as the story races towards its denouement but the hard truth at the end is what really hit and shocked me, and again I can’t say anything more, only to say that it was done so very well and it is so, so chilling. I can’t recommend this novel highly enough. If you enjoy a mix of legal and psychological drama, then I would definitely recommend Blood Orange, especially if you were a fan of Apple Tree Yard. I will be keeping an eye out for what Harriet writes next.
When I first started reading this I really struggled to feel any empathy for Alison because of her reckless behaviour. Even though her drunken binges didn’t seem to adversely affect the way she did her job, I didn’t like the way she neglected her family when she didn’t have to and whilst her love for her daughter was never in doubt, she was too easily side-tracked by the thought of another drink or another illicit meeting with the sometimes charming but rather quite odious Patrick. However as the story went on, with more tantalising disclosures together with reading between the lines, my opinion of her slowly changed and the more I began to understand, the more I was on her side.
The story is not just about Alison although she is the main character and the story is told from her perspective. The client she has been asked to defend has been accused of murdering her husband. At first sight it looks a straightforward case but as the defence case is prepared, it becomes clear that there are unsettling parallels between the lives of Alison and her client Madeleine.
It’s really difficult to review this in detail without giving away spoilers. Blood Orange is a both a domestic and legal thriller, with adult content, and a dark and disturbing storyline involving control and manipulation. Just when you think you know which way the story is heading, the author throws a curveball and you’re left blindsided. There were one or two aspects that I had guessed, but nothing could prepare me for the conclusion.
Blood Orange is the author’s debut novel and it is an absolute cracker. Tyce was a barrister for 10 years so the legal aspects are totally realistic. It is so cleverly structured and the characterisations are superbly done – any author who can bring their characters to life and make you feel such strong emotion, whether it be dislike or sympathy, has done their job well.
This is another sure-fire contender for my top books of the year. I loved it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. It makes for very uncomfortable reading at times and there are parts that may shock but its actually a very topical read and just so compelling.
It has just been announced that Blood Orange has been optioned for a TV series by World Productions. This is excellent news but no surprise – it would make an excellent TV drama and I can’t wait.