I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
Last year I read and really enjoyed Blood Sisters by Jane Corry, and I particularly loved the rather claustrophobic, somewhat enclosed first person telling of the story. In particular the character of Kitty living in care, unable to communicate but the reader is privileged in that he has total access to the mind and thoughts of the hapless Kitty. Unfortunately The Dead Ex comes nowhere near to the thrill read that Blood Sisters was. It is the same type of first person storytelling from the point of view of a number of characters and again that presents as an effective and good method of relaying events. However if the story has little merit, then everything falls apart, in a confusing and dreary manner.
Vicki Goudman suffers with epilepsy and husband Daniel, rather than support her, decides to abandon her for his mistress the alluring, and seductive Tanya. When the police inform Vicki that husband Daniel is missing, possibly dead, she finds her world turned upside down when she realizes that she is the number one suspect. Vicki needs to prove her innocence but how is this possible as the drugs she is prescribed for her epilepsy appear to cause frequent and constant memory loss. The telling of this story is utterly confusing as we travel back and forward from the present to 2006/07 meeting Scarlet and Helen Evans. Vicki Goudman was a prison governor, then in inmate, ex husband Daniel has more than an interest in Tanya, Scarlet had an unhealthy relationship with a Mr Walters, Scarlet's mum Zelda is in prison, who is Jackie? Is Scarlett really Scarlet or Helen? does Zelda have an agenda from her prison cell?, is Daniel really David? what is the importance of Patrick? I could go on but I was just as confused as you are (dear reader of my review) trying to analyse and decipher just what the hell is happening!!. If a story becomes confused, complicated, and possibly losing the plot, then it is certainly difficult to retain the attention and support of the reader. I always endeavour to complete a book before offering an opinion but The Dead Ex really tested my stay ability! Many thanks to netgalley in sending me a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.....An extremely disappointing read, a confusing and complicated plot and a somewhat preposterous conclusion.