Believe Me – JP Delaney
Publisher: Random House – Ballantine
Release Date: July 2018
Synopsis: A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.
Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions.
The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.
Then the game changes.
When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.
Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap?
But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?
Review: I really enjoyed J.P. Delaney’s The Girl Before and was pretty excited to get a sneak peek at Believe Me. Delaney’s newest offering didn’t disappoint.
Believe Me has a unique structure–short, punchy chapters (which I love) with stage/screenplay type interludes as Claire imagines herself on screen or stage in various situations. Looking through other reviews, people are mixed on the use of the screenplay bits but I really liked them. It was different and refreshing. I also enjoyed the connections made to Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire. There was a distubringly sexy under
I love a good unreliable narrator, especially one that’s not an alcoholic. Ya’ll know I’m funny about using alcohol/drugs to make a character untrustworthy with telling their own story. Claire is perfect–is she sane? Is she crazy? Is she really in love with a possible killer? Or is she faking it.
Believe Me kept me guessing right up until the end–and I didn’t get the ending that I was expecting, which is definitely a good thing. Be sure to take this one with you to the beach this summer!