Tuesday 26 March 2024

Never Forgive You - Hilly Barmby

A glamorous French wedding 

Arriving at the station with her boyfriend Davey MacGregor and his twin sisters, Ailsa and Juliette, Hetty, a thriller book addict, picks up on family tension. But that’s natural before a big wedding, isn’t it? Hetty feels out of her depth. The family are wealthy and well- educated, whereas she is a council house girl. Davey’s cousin Isabelle is to marry Jean- Jacques, a French right-wing politician, in the family chateau. 

A fairy-tale event 

Ailsa is hesitant about coming back to France. Eight years ago, something happened that nearly destroyed the family. But that was dealt with, wasn’t it? Hetty has secrets of her own that she doesn’t want known. Ailsa is drawn back into the past. What, exactly, did happen? The expensive wedding is everything it should be, except when the groom is taken ill. The revellers carry on, but something is seriously wrong. 

Then things start to unravel 

The relationships between the family members fracture and secrets from the past start coming to the surface, with murderous results… Who is telling the truth? Who is out for revenge?

What did I think?

As you can tell from the fabulous cover, Never Forgive You is a dark and disturbing novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I loved the setting of a French wedding in a village where the MacGregors are clearly not welcome.  Something clearly happened in the past and I couldn't read fast enough to find out what it was.

It's evident from the start that this is one heck of a dysfunctional family but the true extent is not revealed until near the end.  I had my virtual running shoes on when I was reading and I read the book in two sittings as I couldn't put it down until I had discovered all of the secrets.

The family aren't terribly welcoming to Davey MacGregor's girlfriend Hetty and my blood was boiling as I read chapters from their point of view and found out what they really thought about Hetty.  Just who do they think they are?  With skeletons in their closet tapping on the door to get out, they really shouldn't be acting so aloof.

Compelling, dark and disturbing, Never Forgive You is a page-turning thriller that incensed and entertained me.  Revenge is indeed a dish that is best served cold.

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

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