Hello wonderful readers of my blog! Welcome new readers and hello again to regulars! To start off booksbeyondthestory’s crime month, I have picked Gillian McAllister’s first book “Everything but the Truth.” I had heard good reviews and had to get my hands on a copy!
Rachel, an ex-doctor, is in a new relationship with Jack and is pregnant with his child. After tragic events invade Rachel’s life, she is keen to be happy in her relationship with Jack, especially with a baby on the way. However, one night, an email pops up on Jacks IPad. Its contents aren’t innocent leaving Rachel paranoid to find out the truth- who is Jack? Who is the father of her baby? Is she and her unborn child safe? What is the truth?!
The story is set in two places that couldn’t be more different; Newcastle, the hustle and bustle of the city and Oban, a misty and isolated place in Scotland. I liked the contrast of the two places as the plot seemed to switch between reality and fiction and became more gripping once they intertwined with each other making you think- ‘what is the truth?’
I have to say the characters make this story, so I will spend a little time analysing them. (Don’t worry, any spoilers will be clearly highlighted and numbered so you can read on without fear of finding something out!)
1 Rachel. Rachel is a very unusual character. I find in most thrillers I read that the protagonist is scared, lives in fear and very anxious. I didn’t feel this from Rachel which is one of the things I liked about her. If she wants an answer, she will ask the question. If she doesn’t get the answer, she will do anything to find it out. I found it refreshing to have a strong female lead; she is perhaps judgemental and selfish at times because of her strong character, but I liked her ‘no nonsense’ attitude and determination to find out the truth. You can even go as far as say she is admirable! Look at it this way; a young pregnant woman finds out something about her boyfriend and is completely on her own; her friends tell her she is just paranoid, especially after her past. But this doesn’t stop her- she WILL find out the truth! (SPOILER AHEAD- GO TO SECTION LABELED ‘2’) I was a little disappointed at the fact she regretted some of her actions, e.g. hacking into Jack’s email address- she didn’t feel it justifiable, however, when your boyfriend was a defendant in a murder trial and has lied to you, keeping you from finding out the truth, I would say it is justifiable! Another thing; she is a bit hypocritical. She is distraught to find out Jack has been lying to her, yet she failed to tell Jack her own traumatic past, the reason why she left medicine. Because of this attitude though, the book is more thrilling. Rachel is unsure of herself, and because of her hypocrisy and judgmental attitude, the reader finds it hard to trust her at times. Is it a ‘gut feeling’ something is wrong? Or is she just paranoid? Because of this, I was always second guessing!
2 Jack. Because the story is in the first person narrative of Rachel, we only see him through her eyes. Her descriptive tone makes it easy to visualise this character and because we ‘see’ what she sees, we can see her doubt- his body language, his tone of voice, the secretive facial expressions. I have to say this was one of the more thrilling aspects of the book- simple yet effective! Praise for McAllister!
3 Another point I would like to mention. I have read books in the past where a character has special needs and the character is portrayed poorly without much research done. This is not the case for this book. I must say, even though the character of Davey is a secondary character, no detail has been spared. His portrayal in the book, in my opinion, is very accurate. Everyone is unique and different and McAllister hasn’t tried to go over the top with his portrayal, nor has she spared any detail. It made the book even more enjoyable that there must have been a substantial amount of research done to write this novel. Everything from the setting, plots, characters, vocations, were researched thoroughly and it makes all the difference to a book which is based on small details!
4 The story. The actual plot of the book is unusual too. Rachel is highly investigative so it was no surprise she would find out the truth eventually. However I was surprised when I got to the middle where it seemed the truth came out. I wondered what else could fill the pages now that the truth came out! But I was wrong- there was more to the story, and I was hooked till the very end!
Firstly, I believe anyone who loves reading crime/thrillers would love this book- it’s right up your street but with a twist! However, the way it’s written, I could see anyone wanting to read this book! If you love drama, chick-lit etc. I would recommend this book! If I could sum up this book I would say it’s ‘an ambitious and unusual take on a thriller/crime novel’ that I enjoyed reading very much!
Gillian McAlister’s next novel is out in 2018 and I can’t wait to read it!
Everything but the truth: where to get it
Also some supermarkets stock this book!
What a way to kick off books beyond the story’s crime month!
As always, Happy reading! Lx
P.s. Had to walk through a ton of goose poo to get down to the lake to take this pic. I think it paid off XD