Title: The Dead Ex
Author: Jane Corry
Date of Publication: 28th June 2018
Date of Review: 12th June 2018
Vicki’s husband David once promised to love her in sickness and in health. But after a brutal attack left her suffering from epilepsy, he ran away with his mistress.
So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that David is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.
What really happened on the night of David’s disappearance?
And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself?
Written with a multiple first-person point-of-view, this narrative alternates between the present-day perspective of Vicky (the protagonist); the past storyline of a young girl called Scarlet; and an in-between timeline told from the perspective of a young woman called Helen.
Vicky is a middle-aged woman, whose husband left her for his PA when he couldn’t cope with her debilitating illness of epilepsy. Vicky has recently upped sticks from London and settled into rural Cornwall, where she’s also had a big career change. Her past history isn’t revealed to begin with but is drip-fed throughout the story’s arc. This comes as quite a twist when it’s revealed so I won’t say what that is. Suffice to say this put a whole new spin on what I thought had happened to her in the past and how I thought she may have been connected to Scarlet.
Scarlet is a damaged young girl whose mother uses her child’s innocence to deal drugs. When her mother is sent to prison, Scarlett is sent to abusive foster parents. Scarlett misses her mother terribly; although her mother constantly put Scarlet in danger, she still felt safe and loved. It seems Scarlet is the one who has received a harsher sentence than her mother.
As the timelines converge and twists in the plot begin to unravel the backstory, we see the introduction of Helen, a young woman who David employs on work experience. We know her employment is no accident, but what is Helen’s connection to David?
There is one clever twist after the other and I just loved how everything all connected up to each other. With Vicky having sporadic episodes of memory loss linked to her illness and medication, true to its genre, this sets up the unreliable first-person protagonist, making for a fast-paced page-turning plot. I recommend this book for anybody who likes Louise Jensen or Lisa Jewell.
Under Literature Love’s rating scheme this novel has been awarded 5 out of 5 stars. This means: I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I recommend you stop what you’re doing and go and buy this book now! As well as having all the elements of a four-star review, this book transcends its genre. The language is original and compelling; characters jumped off the page; and twists in the plot left me gasping. This rare and exceptional book will be put forward for Literature Love’s top 10 books of the year.
Thank you to Penguin Books, Jane Corry, and Netgalley for an Advance Review Copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.