Tuesday 20 September 2016

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst @JennyBlackhurst

Karen is meant to be the one who fixes problems.
It's her job, as a psychiatrist - and it's always been her role as a friend.
But Jessica is different. She should be the patient, the one that Karen helps.
But she knows things about Karen. Her friends, her personal life. Things no patient should know.
And Karen is starting to wonder if she should have let her in . . .

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst is published by Headline in paperback on 3 November 2016 and is the author's second novel. I read and reviewed her first book, How I Lost You in April 2015.

There are some incredibly talented authors being published at the moment. They are writing brilliant psychological thrillers, stories that twist and turn and lead the reader astray. Back in April last year, when I read and reviewed Jenny Blackhurst's debut novel, How I Lost You, I commented that she was a worthy entry to the stable of fine thriller authors. I thought her story was clever and compelling, not without a couple of niggles, but very well done. The story stayed with me, I looked forward to reading her next book.

Before I Let You In does not disappoint, not at all. It's totally compelling, with a fiendishly clever and complex plot and an unreliable narrator whose voice is superb.

Jenny Blackhurst gives us a story about female friendship, her lead characters are perfectly created. Karen, Bea and Eleanor have been close friends for years. They have shared everything; difficult childhoods, education, relationships, jobs. They know each other inside out. Or, so they think. As the reader gets to know each character more closely, we soon realise that each one of them have things to hide, things that hugely affect them, and their relationships.

Karen is the fixer of the trio. A psychiatrist, she spends her working life mending broken people, and this edges over to her private life. She's professional and knows her boundaries, but when a new patient, Jessica Hamilton enters her consulting room, things begin to get sinister.

Karen becomes convinced that Jessica is a danger to her, and to her friends. She knows things. She says things. Slowly and surely, these three women's lives begin to disintegrate. There's a dark, brooding feeling of unease throughout the story, with the reader beginning to distrust everyone.

Before I Let You In is oh so clever. It's unsettling and tense, yet perfectly paced. Chilling and very unsettling, Jenny Blackhurst has most certainly proved that she can write, this is so damn good. I stayed up until the early hours to finish this, and that ending ............. fabulous!

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy of Before I Let You In for review.

Jenny Blackhurst grew up in Shropshire, where she still lives with her husband and children.

Growing up she spent hours reading and talking about crime novels - writing her own seemed like a natural progression. 
Before I Let You In is her second novel.

Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @JennyBlackhurst


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