This review contains spoilers
This post, Believe Me by J.P. Delaney might be the last straw before the publishers come to my window with pitchforks and cry out loud to burn me on a stake. They give me free books to read and I rant about these books! OR they might just put a stake to my heart – a more glorious ending to my dull life as a software developer and mum probably-
But god, I found this book ridiculous!
Let’s see what the Amazon page on book’s about section says…
Oh wow… All these, for this book?
Nay. A closer and more careful look tells me this praise is for the author. Which is a pen name actually, and have many other books. The Girl Before is probably something you’d heard of.. which was quite a good, tense thriller. I have found out that this book was actually published before, but the author wasn’t happy with the sales, and now he changed the novel and re-published. So first thing first, all these praises are not for this book, but for Delaney.
The book starts with Claire, a broke British wannabe-actress trying to make a living by putting an effort to seduce a married man; with a recorder/camera in her bag, only to pass the evidence to a team of solicitors that’s been hired by the man’s wife. Claire is attending a drama course, she doesn’t have a work permit, she cannot return to England because she’s caused a scandal and made terrible mistakes that messed up her acting career. For some reason, the internet is not enough for Claire to get tracked in the USA although they’re an English speaking country. Maybe Delaney thought: American’s innit, English speaking or not, probably won’t bother to google a name. Anyway. Claire, likes to act. You cannot really tell when she acts or not. To me it felt like Delaney also wasn’t able to tell- or maybe he didn’t care. Claire can be in love, in rage, in jealousy. She can be an idiot or very wise. She doesn’t have a character. She’s jack of all trades when it comes to emotions.
Then one day, she stumbles upon a lady before she’s murdered. The prime suspect is her husband, Patrick which Claire has some hots for, although she’s just spent 3 minutes with him. Cops arrive to murder scene and they get like: HEY, THERE’S THIS CHICK WITHOUT A WORK PERMIT, AND SHE SEEMS VERY UNSTABLE, She’s even tried to kill herself in the past, OOHH SHE’S THE PERFECT CANDIDATE TO BE A BAIT AGAINST THE HUSBAND. LET’S JUST EMPLOY HER, AND HAVE SOME FUN!
Claire is suddenly kicked out by the law office, and employed by the police. They give her crazy money, rent her a flat in New York, refurbish it. This cops are not only crazy but they also must have crazy money. Shit gets really weird after that. I can’t really keep going about the plot, but I must say at one point I thought Claire ate some magic mushroom and just having a psychedelic burn out. It’s utterly unbelievable and ridiculous. Government authorities come and go throughout the story line, and although working without a work permit and mess up badly in NYC, they leave Claire alone. (I also couldn’t help to ask myself, WHO THE HELL PAYS HER MEDICAL BILLS, THIS IS MURICA, AND HEALTHCARE AIN’T FREE YA’NOW)
Seriously. I watched enough US TV series to know that the justice system in America is very tight and even the slightest wrong doing won’t be overlooked. So it’s really silly what happens to Claire from start to finish. The American police is portrayed somewhere between con artists and naive school boys. You probably wonder how that will work out. (My advice: Don’t)
I gritted my teeth and finished the book, although after 70% the book had another turn and became completely another story altogether. But oh my goodness. That RIDICULE ending. I just want to run naked in my garden and scream CONSTANTINOPLE and see what happens. (you probably won’t understand this if you haven’t read the book)
Sorry this didn’t work well for me. But can’t help to think: did no one read this and raised an eye brow (or two) before it was published ? I can see there are a few brilliant and promising ideas in the story, like becoming the role you play but the story is just so long and takes too many actions in.
One thing I really liked about the book, and saving it another star, is Charles Baudelaire, and the story of his lovers and love life. The book, Fleurs de Mal.
Wish the story was a bit more tidier.