“Blood Orange” by Harriet Tyce – Book Review

“Actions have consequences”

Alison Wood is burning the candle at both ends in both her personal and professional life. She works long hours as a busy barrister in London and has just landed her first ever murder case. Unfortunately, the advising solicitor on the case is the man with whom she has been having a sordid affair with over the past months.

She drinks to excess whenever the slightest opportunity arises. The pressures of work, a rocky marriage, and being the principal bread-winner for the family is taking its toll.

The drinking and the long hours in the city are putting her marriage in jeopardy – and her husband Carl doesn’t even know about her affair. Alison doesn’t play a large part in her daughter’s life, and the whole family dynamic is suffering as a result.

Then, amidst all this turmoil, Alison begins to receive threatening text messages. Someone doesn’t like what she has been doing…

Alison begins to compare her life to that of the woman she is defending in a murder case. Perhaps they have more in common than Alison would like…

Old Bailey courtroom

I have to say that for most of the book, Alison is NOT a very likable protagonist. Yet despite this, I found I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I guess it is the old ‘train wreck‘ psychology. You just know that something bad has happened and you are compelled to view it for yourself despite the sure fact it will be disturbing.

Alison was a hard person to empathize with. She was a clever, attractive barrister with a career on the up. She was married to a psychotherapist, and is the mother of a darling six-year old daughter. Yet still she jeopardized it all for an affair. And not an affair for love. An affair that was demeaning, degrading, and sordid. Why, we wonder?

Gradually we realize that Alison’s marriage has been in jeopardy for over two years. Around about the time that her husband Carl was made redundant.

statue of ‘Justice’ which adorns the roof of the Old Bailey

Well folks, at about the 3/4 mark I started to empathize with Alison more. It was at about that point that this novel – which had already gripped me – turned into a true page-turner. I literally couldn’t bear to put the book down.

Domestic noir/Psychological thriller/Legal thriller, this novel will be appreciated by all those readers who like any of these genres.

It is impossible to discern while reading that this is a debut novel. The writing is polished and compelling. I’m sure that the author will be one whom readers of this novel will follow throughout her career. I know for certain that I will be.

I received a complimentary digital copy of “Blood Orange” from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley.

ISBN: 9781538762738    352 pages

Harriet Tyce was born in 1972 and grew up in Edinburgh. She studied English at Oxford University and Law at City University before working as a criminal barrister for nearly a decade.

She left the Bar after having children and recently completed an MA in Creative Writing – Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia.

She lives in London. Blood Orange is her debut novel.

Follow Harriet Tyce on Twitter

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, debut novels, Legal thrillers, NetGalley, Page turners, Psychological thrillers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to “Blood Orange” by Harriet Tyce – Book Review

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  4. nsfordwriter says:

    Sounds good! I’m going to add to my TBR.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve usually had a tough time changing my mind if my initial reaction to a protagonist is ugh. This does sound like an intriguing read, however, Lynne, thanks to your review. Not thrilled about the cover, I assume there is some explanation for the title in the book? Still, I will look for it on NG.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Karen says:

    Glad you enjoyed this as much as I did. Like you, I found Alison really unlikeable for the first part of the book

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I absolutely love when an author takes a character you don’t necessarily like, but finds a way to compel you to keep reading. Excellent review! Sounds like this is a debut not to miss.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Holly B / Dressedtoread says:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed! I remember this was quite a page turner for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. gayebooklady says:

    So happy you enjoyed this novel as much as I did!! I could not turn the pages fast enough. It is truly a remarkable debut…..from the rich plot to the title this was an amazing read! I had to peel one layer back at a time and still was blindsided at the end! Cannot wait for Harriet Tyce’s next book!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. carhicks says:

    When I first saw this book begin appearing on blogs earlier this year it sounded quite intriguing. Your post and review has definitely rekindled my interest. I like when an author writes a character that is unlikable, yet you still want to see what is going to happen. I like the train wreck comparison. But to end up empathizing with her by the end, sounds like a great piece of writing. I am now actively looking for this one. I will probably end up buying this one. Wonderful review Lynne.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I loved this book so much. I need to re-read it.

    Liked by 2 people

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