Wednesday 11 July 2018

Sticks And Stones by Jo Jakeman @JoJakemanWrites #BlogTour @HarvillSecker @Mia_QS @DeadGoodBooks #SticksAndStones

Imogen’s husband is a bad man. His ex-wife and his new mistress might have different perspectives but Imogen thinks she knows the truth. And now he’s given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I’ll fight you for custody of our son.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable: she locks her husband in the cellar. Now she’s in control. But how far will she go to protect her son and punish her husband? And what will happen when his ex and his girlfriend get tangled up in her plans?

Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman is published by Harvill Secker in hardback on 12 July 2018, and is the author's debut thriller. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and asked me to take part in the Blog Tour.

The story opens with a funeral. Phillip was a well-respected policeman, his death has come as a shock and there are lots of people there to pay their respects. There are also three women in attendance; Imogen, Phillip's wife and mother of his son; Naomi, Phillip's current girlfriend and Ruby, Phillips ex wife. The women are seated apart, but they have a secret that binds them tightly together.

So, the reader knows that Phillip is dead. The author then takes us back a couple of weeks, when Imogen is told by Phillip that she has to leave their house. He wants to sell it and marry Naomi.

Imogen is shattered. Not only has Phillip dumped her for a younger, more beautiful model, he now wants to take her home. Imogen has been Phillip's victim for years, she's not prepared to take anymore.

Sticks and Stone is a fast-paced story that kept me gripped, yet sometimes I wanted to laugh out loud. People may gasp, because this is a story that portrays some of the most vicious, violent and emotionally challenging domestic violence, it shouldn't be funny at all. However, Jo Jakeman has incorporated a dark wit into her writing, and even when a couple of scenes felt just a little too over-the-top, I still wanted to read on.

The author creates her characters extremely well, and I have to admit to having a soft spot for Naomi; she's the 'other woman' but she's suffered just as much as Imogen and she has a sparky, no-nonsense personality that really appealled to me. Ex-wife Ruby is more difficult to warm to, however, she really comes through in the end, despite her misgivings, and to be honest, my own misgivings.

The blackest of comedy, and the darkest of subjects; the author's ability to produce a story that is both funny yet devastating is incredibly clever. It's maybe just a tiny bit too dramatic at times but it's one of those books that hooks, grips and doesn't let go until the revelatory ending.

Jo was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition at the York Festival of Writing. 
Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. 
Sticks and Stones is her debut thriller. 

Find out more at
Follow her on Twitter @JoJakemanWrites
Find her Author Page on Facebook

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