Rebecca didn’t know love was possible until she met Paul, a successful, charismatic, married man with a past as dark as her own. Their pain drew them together with an irresistible magnetism; they sensed that they were each other’s ideal (and perhaps only) match.
But twenty years later, Paul and Rebecca are drowning as the damage and secrets that ignited their love begin to consume their marriage. Paul is cheating on Rebecca, and his affair gets messy fast. His mistress is stalking them with growing audacity when Rebecca discovers Paul’s elaborate plan to build a new life without her. And though Rebecca is spiraling into an opiate addiction, it doesn’t stop her from coming up with a devious plot of her own, and this one could end absolutely everything.
The Woman Inside by EG Scott Review
A Satisfying but Formulaic Domestic Thriller
My reviews usually start in a hotel room, or an airport, or anywhere besides home, because that’s where I spend most of my time. This one is no different, and the fact that I woke up fully-clothed, Kindle resting neatly on my stomach, should tell you that the first few chapters gripped me – I had to skip back a couple of chapters as I was doing some very skillful one-eye-open reading until sleep finally grabbed me.
If you love to be hooked by a book from the first page, then this book is for you.
The thought of a few hours of escapism to Long Island where this book promised to take me, and the lure of a “page-turning” thriller made me put my hands up when this one was offered to us for a blog tour. It caught my attention because not only is it written under a single pseudonym by two very successful people (E.G Scott is, in fact, a pseudonym for two NYC-based writers, one a publishing professional and one a screenwriter) but the TV rights have already been snapped up. Quite a feat for a debut, it had a lot to live up to.
Besides, the blurb promised of a ‘Shakespearean’ twist which intrigued me – I was eager for a thriller with some real tragedy.
This book is the very definition of an unreliable narrator, you never quite know who is telling which (of many, many) truths.
We start ‘after’ with Rebecca fearing for her life, and continue to be thrown around in the narrative going backwards and forwards between ‘before’, ‘now’ and ‘after’ and weaving between characters all told from the first person.
We are thrown backwards by meeting Rebecca and Paul, and thanks to the opening chapter, I skipped quickly through the next few. We soon find out that their perfect life is not so perfect. Between her flagrant drug addiction (she sells pharmaceuticals and crunches most of the profit between her front teeth) and his bankrupt construction company, you can tell quickly that something is amiss. Their world of drugs, affairs and lies become more and more apparent with each turn of the page. The constant back and forth in time to better explain the previous chapter only adds to the lack of sleep I suffered.
You can easily see why this book has been picked up for TV so quickly, and you can tell that the writers have written for the screen previously.
The book immediately reads like a TV series, the way that it runs through the three times and the multiple narratives drops you very easily into a book that reads like episodes of a TV show, rather than the short sharp chapters you would normally expect in this type of book. In spite of the multiple narrators, it left me wanting for a little narrative, one or two of the side-parts could have been dropped in favour of getting to know the characters a little better, but I think that is just because that is what is generally expected of a thriller. A twisted character we know inside out. This formula plays with you a little, never allowing you to get too close.
The plot has everything you need, we have the tormented couple, money and drug issues, a paradise location, and childhood trauma. We have double murder, mistaken identity, and even people who are seemingly dead walking down the street perfectly alive – it really has to be read to be believed!
The pace is quick, but the twist at the end is shocking – it definitely lives up to the ‘shakespearean twist’, except in the Bard’s tragedy, we have empathy for the characters, The Woman Inside offers not a single drop of empathy for these hapless individuals.
With all the guessing in the world you could not anticipate the conclusion in the final few pages. Being completely honest, I got halfway through and thought I had it all figured out and I wasn’t even close.
In a way, I’ve struggled to write this review because I’m left feeling confused about this book. I couldn’t put it down, yet it felt at times formulaic. It had so much narrative, yet I was left wanting to know the characters better. It’s a book about revenge, yet I empathize more with the real protagonist than the people who really suffered.
My recommendation is that if you love a domestic thriller, then pick it up, suspend reality and dive in. The twists will shock you, the behaviour from 90% of the characters make it perversely compelling but expect to feel a little numb afterwards.
I have a feeling it may be a marmite style book – picking up 1 star and 5 star reviews, and little in between. But I recommend reading it even if you are unsure because I’m am left in no doubt that the TV series will be so good, you’ll end up going back and reading the book anyway.
Published by: Orion
(Many thanks to Orion and Tracy Fenton for inviting us to take part in this blog tour.)