Published by Doubleday
Publication date: 9 April 2015
Source – Net Galley copy
“What if you realized the book you were reading was all about you?
‘DISCLAIMER stealthily steals your attention and by the end holds you prisoner – a searing story that resonates long after the final page. The best thriller I’ve read this year’
Rosamund Lupton, bestselling author of Sister
When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up in bed and begins to read.
But as she turns the pages she is sickened to realize the story will reveal her darkest secret.
A secret she thought no one else knew…”
3 of 5 stars
Everyone has read the disclaimer, the bit at the front of the book that states the book is a work of fiction and resemblances to people is coincidental. But what happens if a book turns up in your house and this disclaimer is crossed out? What happens if you read it and begin to realise it is about you? This is what happens to Catherine who is horrified to realise someone has written about a secret from her past, one which she has kept for 20 years and one which could ruin her life.
I loved the premise of this story. The idea that a book, something many turn to for entertainment, relief, escapism or guidance is used to the opposite effect, as a malicious tool to ruin someone. The story alternates between Catherine and Stephen. Stephen is a former teacher, still mourning the death of his wife. As the book develops we learn more of the history of Catherine and how she and Stephen are linked.
It is however a story that can easily be given away in a review, as everything is so tightly woven together giving the merest hint of what happens after Catherine begins to read the book could spoil the story. With that said therefore my review will be one of brevity.
As the characters developed I found myself disliking each one more and more, though by the conclusion my thoughts on Catherine had changed somewhat. Some are malevolent, others allow anger to cloud their judgement. I did find it difficult to care about any of them and this at times led me to find my interest wane. In other parts however I found myself eager to read more to find out what had happened.
This is a highly original concept for a psychological thriller and Renee Knight has managed to create a likely best seller with her first published novel. She has created characters you will have strong feelings for and a story that will keep you wanting to read until the end, even me, despite the issues I had with it.
If the premise intrigues you give it a go. And remember to read the disclaimer on the books you read from now on. Just in case.