It’s my turn on the blog tour today for The Alibi Girl by C.J. Skuse. Many thanks to HQ for my review copy of the book.
What’s the book about?
JOANNE HAYNES HAS A SECRET.
THAT IS NOT HER REAL NAME.
And there’s more. Her flat isn’t hers. Her cats aren’t hers. Even her hair isn’t really hers.
Nor is she any of the other women she pretends to be. Not the bestselling romance novelist who gets her morning snack from the doughnut van on the seafront. Nor the pregnant woman in the dental surgery. Nor the chemo patient in the supermarket for whom the cashier feels ever so sorry. They’re all just alibis.
In fact, the only thing that’s real about Joanne is that nobody can know who she really is.
But someone has got too close. It looks like her alibis have begun to run out….
Having read Sweetpea and it’s sequel In Bloom, I was really looking forward to The Alibi Girl. And that anticipation was well placed as this is one of the best books I’ve read this year and is one that I wanted to read all over again the second I had finished it. C.J. Skuse writes so beautifully with a dark humour that really appeals to me and here she has created a complex character who I absolutely adored from the first moment I met her. But who did I actually meet on that very first page? Was it Mary Brokenshire? Or is it Joanne Haynes, a woman unable to maintain a single identity.
I was completely hooked on The Alibi Girl, immersed in the life of a girl who was so completely different from the one I was expecting from that woman sitting in the hairdressers with her 5 week old baby. There were some unexpected twists and turns and some great supporting characters who were well drawn, even though nearly everyone was hiding behind some sort of mask and not just Joanne! I felt very maternal towards Joanne as she seemed very young for her age and eventually we come to understand why and that’s when I just wanted to cry for her!!! The narrative certainly didn’t take the path I had expected and that helped to make The Alibi Girl one of the best books I’ve read for some time!
But if I thought I’d been surprised enough throughout The Alibi Girl then I was in for another shock on that last page!! That ending!!!! I mean, what the actual hell?! It was perfection but I don’t think I can forgive the author for giving me one of the most thought provoking endings in a very long time!
In short, The Alibi Girl is dark, gripping and thoroughly addictive from start to finish and one of the easiest 5 stars I’ve given in a long time. If this book isn’t in my top 20 reads of 2020 then I’ll eat my paperback copy!! Loved it loved it LOVED IT!!
Meet the author
C.J. SKUSE is the author of Pretty Bad Things, Rockaholic, Dead Romantic, Monster and The Deviants. She was born in Weston-super-Mare. She has first-class degrees in creative writing and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance fiction consultant and lectures at Bath Spa University.