Reckless by R.J. McBrien @midaspr @welbeckpublish @r_mcbrien

What happens when an affair goes wrong? Find out in this nail-biting thriller, perfect for fans of Apple Tree Yard and Girl on a Train

You think you’ll stay the same – you won’t. Infidelity will change you forever. There can be no going back. 

Kirsten Calloway knows she should be grateful. She has a stable marriage, decent job, and a wonderful teenage daughter. But she also has a raging libido that won’t shut up, and a husband who’d rather go on a bike ride.

She bumps into an old friend at a school reunion who faces a similar problem. Dianne, though, has found the answer: a discreet agency which arranges casual sex for people just like them, people who want to keep their marriages but also scratch that itch.

Enter Zac: younger, handsome and everything Kirsten could hope for in bed. For a while, they seem to have it all. Kirsten even finds herself becoming a better wife and mother. But Zac wants more – a lot more, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

Sexually charged, shocking and relatable, Reckless is a profound exploration of marriage, motherhood and desire.

I was drawn to Reckless by the comparisons to AppleTree Yard and Girl On A Train as I’ve loved both of those books. And Reckless certainly lived up to those comparisons for me as it delivered everything I want from my preferred genre of psychological thrillers-shocking twists, an unreliable female narrator and a very dark, seductive storyline. Reading this book became an addiction for me and once started, I struggled to put it down.

The infidelity aspect of this debut novel is handled perfectly and although I understood why Kirsten did what she did, I still wanted to shake some sense into her when she made some very questionable decisions! For a male author to bring a female character to life so perfectly is a huge achievement as Kirsten felt relatable and authentic in her actions and emotions, even though (as I’ve said before!) I didn’t completely agree with some of her judgments. But I found her a compelling character study as she took the route she obviously felt she had no choice but to follow…

It’s apparent very early on though that something has gone very wrong for Kristen. The narrative opens with a police report that states a body has been found but how does this relate to Kirsten and the extra marital affair she goes on to start. As the storyline develops, each new part starts with a crime report relating to the death of a young man and I loved the extra detail that this added to the book. It’s obvious that R.J. McBrien writes for tv and screenplays as his words manage to create a visual feel to the story, bringing characters and settings to life with his descriptive prose. He pulls his readers deeply into his fictional world and the family home that Kirsten returns to after her exploits with Zac, and this means that they became quite heavily invested in the whole family-I know I did!

This has been one of my favourite books so far this year-it’s an intelligent, alluring and gripping read with some shocking revelations. I absolutely loved it!

RJ McBrien attended York University, the Sorbonne and graduated from the Yale School of Drama. He writes for TV (Wallander, Spooks and Trust for ITV) and has sold scripts to major Hollywood studios, for whom he regularly works as a script doctor. Reckless is his first novel.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.