Thursday 16 July 2020

BLOG TOUR: Betray Her - Caroline England

Best friends forever.

That's the pact you made.

You'd do anything for her.

And you have.

She's always had it all.

If you could take it for yourself . . . would you?

What did I think?

Betray Her has such a chilling prologue that I actually got goosebumps when I read it.  We then read the dual timeline story of school friends Kate and Jo who met at boarding school in 1988.  Jo's accent and Kate's weight make them easy targets for the other girls to aim their verbal and physical abuse at.  This adversity makes them life-long friends and we rejoin their stories when they're both married women.

I thought all-girls day schools were bitchy but they're a walk in the park compared to an all-girls boarding school.  This is no Malory Towers, that's for sure!  It's so infuriating to read about bullying and how it can stay with you and shape your life; Jo's accent is the easiest to change but Kate's struggle with her weight is more disturbing.  Caroline England doesn't dwell too much on this and very much like the real-life struggle, it lingers in the background and tries to remain hidden.

There's quite a lot of individual and shared histories to dig through as the story builds and both their lives intertwine over the years.  Add a man to the mix and you've got a naked flame in a firework factory.  I was going to say that they both love the same man but I'm not sure that they do.  It could just be a case of wanting what the other one has and they both had him at one time or another.  The poor man!  I did feel a bit sorry for him; he's an unwitting pawn in their game and there can only be one queen left on the board.

Although for some reason (and I think maybe it was just me) I couldn't quite get into the rhythm of the book but there were so many twists and turns in the storyline that it easily held my interest.  It's quite a slow-burn as there is a lot to unearth in Jo and Kate's history, especially the disturbing event in the chilling prologue.  

Betray Her is a very intriguing story that is as much about friendship as envy, which are both often shockingly sides of the same coin; this is one green-eyed monster that has lain dormant and is about to awaken with a mighty roar.  It's dark, disturbing and positively brimming with tension and Caroline England has one or two surprises up her sleeve to keep the reader on their toes.  A really enjoyable read.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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