Book review: The Confession by Jo Spain

the confession jo spainI really enjoyed this unusual and spiky thriller set in Dublin. Julie is watching TV with her wealthy husband when an intruder breaks in and beats him to a pulp with a golf club. He then hands himself in and confesses to the attack, insisting it was random.

The story is told from three points of view – Julie, the perpetrator, JP (John-Paul) and the police officer investigating the crime, Alice.

Julie’s story takes in the Irish banking crisis. She was a student from an ordinary background when she met Harry, who went on to be her husband. He is wealthy and involved with some dubious characters. She tries to convince herself that she can still live and ordinary life. She takes work as a teacher and remains, you might argue, wilfully blind to Harry’s activities. At the time of the attack he is a notorious public figure, having just been acquitted in a major fraud trial.

JP gives a cool, controlled account of a very difficult life, first in London, then in Ireland. His parents struggled with poverty, mental illness and alcoholism but he appears to be making something of his life. Why then, has he attacked Harry?

The police play a relatively small part in the story but Alice is shrewd and dogged in pursuit of her suspicions and is able to give as good as she gets in an affectionately abrasive team.

I loved the atmosphere of this book, the characters who are dark and complex and never quite what they seem. As the mystery unravels you are left wondering where your sympathies should lie, who are the bad guys, and whether there are any good guys at all.

View The Confession on Goodreads

Enjoyed this? If you like a thriller with an original set-up, take a look at my review of This Is How It Ends by Eva Dolan




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