Have you ever had a book sneak up on you emotionally, and you only realise its hold over you when you go to put it down and realise you can’t? That’s exactly what happened with this book, it silently took hold of my heart and became a one-sitting read.
It all started with the email. It came through to her boyfriend’s iPad in the middle of the night. Rachel didn’t even mean to look. She loves Jack, and she’s pregnant with their child. She trusts him. But now she’s seen it, she can’t undo that moment, or the chain of events it has set in motion. Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn’t Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?
How long does it take to get to know someone? This book was nothing like I expected, it wasn’t an in-your-face thriller, but rather a slow and steady tale of trust, secrets and forgiveness. There was a silent tension throughout the entire read, it was under the surface, you knew it was there as it’s what kept you turning pages, that tension that only dishonesty and a quest for truth can bring.
Through McAllister’s beautiful writing style, Rachel and Jack’s relationship was laid bare for us. It was only once I reached the half way point of this novel did I realise it’s effect on me, how desperate I was to know the outcome. The plot was so real, I was constantly imagining what I would do if I was Rachel, if I was in her situation?
Not only is the plot realistic, the characters were too, I felt their hope and anguish right alongside them. McAllister gave Rachel a narrative voice that was full of a rawness that suited the story perfectly, like we could see into the soul of her character, not only was she searching for the truth about Jack but also the truth about herself. How can you come to terms with someone else’s truth when you’re struggling to face your own? Rachel is a character you become invested in, a journey you accompany her on, all the while hoping everything works out okay for her in the end. By the end of this book you will be talking about the characters as if you know them personally, that’s how well developed they are.
I also really liked the insight into Scottish Law and the use of social media, in particular, Google – if I’m unsure of anything, Google is my go-to resource! These elements added an extra layer of realism to the plot, it’s fascinating to know what information is available to the public, if you know where to look.
Everything but the Truth is a psychological thriller but it resides comfortably in its subgenre – psychological drama. It’s character driven, the emphasis is on the relationships of the characters and their own internal conflict. I highly recommend this read.
*My thanks to the author (Gillian McAllister) and publisher (Michael Joseph) for granting me access to a digital copy of this book via Netgalley*