This weekend, my darling five-year-old Logan started with chicken pox, so I decided to step away from the desk and snuggle up with him and a book I have been desperate to read for ages ~ The Optician’s Wife by Betsy Reavley.
Why the actual bleep has it taken me so long to get to it?
Here’s the blurb . . .
Bloodhound Books (18 Jun. 2016)
Can you ever really know someone?
When Deborah, an unpopular seventeen-year-old, meets the charming and handsome Larry, he sweeps her off her feet. The trouble is Larry has a secret.
Then a series of grisly murders cast a shadow over everything.
As Deborah’s world starts to fall apart she begins to suspect the man she loves of a terrible betrayal. And to keep their marriage alive, sacrifices must be made.
A compelling, psychological thriller that unpicks what goes on behind closed doors and reminds us that sometimes the worst crimes can take place closer to home than you think.
My thoughts . . .
First of all, in the blurb above, I have changed the typeset of the words ‘psychological thriller’ to bold and underlined, this genre/category is banded about a bit too much nowadays. People love this genre; publishers and authors alike can get caught up in branding a book something that it isn’t and lots of people find that REALLY annoying.
A true psychological thriller should have the emphasis on it’s main characters psychological state (usually an unstable state) their moral ambiguity and the often tortured relationships between obsessive and pathological characters.
The Optician’s Wife has all this in spades and then some!
OH MY FRIGGING GOD!!!!!!
This book should be listed in the wiki page as THE perfect example of a psychological thriller. This genre should not be banned about on a new novel unless the publisher/author has read this first and checked off the points that Reavley so superbly brings to the table.
We start by meeting Deborah, the awkward, plain and dowdy seventeen-year-old Woolworths employee whose family treat her like dirt and who doesn’t have the capacity to stop or change their behaviour. Cue to Larry, the sweet, good-looking, older man who takes a shine to her.
From the start there is something sinister about Larry. He is controlling, obsessive and has a way of persuading Dee, his new name for our lovely Deborah, into doing pretty much whatever he wants her to do.
I loath Larry, he is such a bastard to Dee all the way through this book, he manipulates, lies, disrespects and basically abuses his young bride until she is a shadow of her former self, but one that is so bloody grateful to him for even looking at her, let alone marrying her. ARGH!!!!!
As their relationship continues, the obsessiveness, the control and the completely enthralling interactions between Larry and Dee grow more and more tortured, you are left mentally (and sometimes out loud) begging Dee to do something, to do anything she can to escape this life that she has let herself be dragged into.
I adored Dee, the sweet, young misfit who is totally swept away by this charming older man. She really didn’t stand a chance against him. Not on little bit.
I can’t discuss the storyline any further other than to say it is truly disturbing, like, to your core disturbing, completely shocking and a totally wonderful read!
Reavley writes with such flair and skill that it is wholly impossible not to be spellbound by each and every word on the pages, even when the plot is truly awful (Frailty ~ need I say more?!) there are parts to this book which are uncomfortable, there are parts that make you want read from behind your fingers and there are parts that conjure up such anger inside you almost scream out loud ~ How the hell do you do it Betsy?! Seriously?!?! HOW???????
If Betsy Reavley could bottle-up her plot-spinning and writing talent to sell it, she would be a multi-gazillionaire. FACT!
WOW WOW WOW!
If you can only read one more book for the rest of your life, please please please, make it this one! I promise, you will not regret it!!!
The Optician’s Wife is the ultimate sleep stealer, you will not be able to put it down, I can’t tell you if the chapters were long or short because I took absolutely no notice of them, the words just flowed from one page to the next.
Go and get your copy now at Amazon UK
I urge you to click that link folks! I really do!
Have a fantastic evening book lovers!
Keep reading x
About the author . . .
Betsy Freeman Reavley is the author of the novels Beneath the Watery Moon, Carrion, The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Frailty and the poetry collections The Worm in the Bottle and Shadows in the light. Her latest psychological thriller, Frailty, published by Bloodhound Books.
She was born in Hammersmith, London. As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.
She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.
In her early twenties she moved to Oxford, where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.
Beneath the Watery Moon is Betsy Reavley’s beautifully written first release and tells the macabre story of a young woman battling against mental illness.
Beneath the Watery Moon is published by Not So Noble Books and Joffe Books. It is available as an eBook from Amazon.
Betsy Reavley’s second novel Carrion is a psychological chiller that address the link between grief and fear. Carrion was published in 2014 by Bloodhound Books.
The Quiet Ones, published in February 2016 and is a kindle top 100 bestseller, carries on Reavley’s tradition of writing psychological thrillers in her own unique way.
The Optician’s Wife, was released in June 2016 to critical acclaim.
Frailty is Reavley’s newest release and is available on amazon now.
Reavley says “I think people are at their most fascinating when they are faced with life’s real horrors. This is what I love to write about.”
Betsy Reavley currently lives in Cambridge, with her husband, 2 children, dog and quail. She is working on her fifth novel.
You can follow her on Twitter @BetsyReavley