Hello lovely readers, today the blog tour for Believe Me swings by my site, and I am so excited. It feels like only last week that I read The Girl Before by J P Delaney, being pulled in as usual by the cover as much as the description. I ve seen it repeatedly on book club lists; And often as I search the book aisle in Tesco too.
This is the next book from the same author, which immediately had me requesting and Advance Copy based on that fact alone. I know I skimmed the description but I dont think I really took it in.
Yesterday morning with a 6 hour commute I decided it was the time to start ‘Believe Me’. Having finished it this morning I feel like I ve been on a dramatic whirlwind adventure.
The story is about Claire, a young woman trying to make it as an actress; she’s got into a school in New York, and is trying to find a way to make ends meet, without a green card.
Her previous life choices have given her a reputation, her roommate needs her share of the rent, and she soon find that the only work she can do is helping to catch cheating husbands. When one of the women ends up dead Claire finds herself a suspect, before helping the police with their investigation by going undercover. The story has a real world tie, to a book called Les Fleurs du Mal and its writer, Charles Baudelaire. Patrick is obsessed with the writer, what we would probably describe as a superfan; he has translated the poems and lectures about the writings and meanings, How Baudelaire felt, worked and lived and how it influenced others. Im aware J s Delaney has edited the poems from their original to make them fit the narrative but I find it so intriguing, On the surface this is a book about a young girl just trying to make it in the world, despite not having the best start in life, but theres a dark and sinister subtext reminding us how easily people can be influenced, and although both history and art teach us plenty, sometimes we have to be responsible for the media that is available. I wonder if this at one point graced the banned books list for more than one country.
As we delve into a world of trust games we wonder who can trust who, and who is really the ‘mark’. Is Patrick really under suspicion or is it Claire? Are the police on her side? Are they even real? Has the game ended or is it just more elaborate to make her think that its over? In the end the story is about sharing the good and bad parts of yourself, and knowing who you can trust.
If I had to sum up the story in one word it would have to be “creepy”. I know that probably doesn’t come across from the above, but believe me the more you read of the book the more it will become obvious why I chose that word. (and just to clarify that’s good creepy not bad creepy)
Believe me is out on the 26 July
Dont just ‘Believe Me’ when I tell you its good – check out some of the other blogs stops.. en route to picking up your own new shiny copy of the book!