Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce #BookReview

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Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.

Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

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Oh Alison, what a tragic and unfulfilling life you lead. Alison’s making a right mess of her life and it’s of her own doing. Should I feel compassion? I’m not going to lie, it was hard to sympathise. She’s such a strong woman and then she shows such weakness, drinking excessively and making a fool of herself time and time again. She also has an affair and the worst part is that it isn’t even with anyone nice. Patrick’s debasing treatment of her and the rough sex he forces her into, all on his terms and how he pleases, were enough not to care for him at all. Not even after all that’s happened, he just sunk too low for me to crawl out of that pit.

I didn’t like Alison either but from what I’ve heard and seen myself in real life I know that drinking is a common problem among barristers, so it’s not so strange after all. If it were any other novel I’d have the reaction too that it’s yet another alcoholic, but I feel it’s quite justified here. And of course you can find adultery in all businesses… I’m just hoping they’re not all so loathsome as Patrick. I know that lawyers are in second place of professions with the most psychopaths (CEO’s are number one btw), and he sure comes close.

I was so very focused on Alison and her personal life that I’d almost forget there’s a legal part to this novel too. She’s working on the testimony of a woman who shot her husband and she has to decide the best way of presenting the case. I enjoyed the insight and reading about the different possibilities of going forward here but I can’t say I didn’t see any of it coming right from the start. I do read a lot of these type of novels though so maybe not so surprising I’m naturally inclined to think of every possibility.

I was more surprised however when I reached the ending of the novel… I completely forgot what drew me into this novel at first, being so preoccupied with everything else that was going on with Alison and her marriage, so I find that a really good thing and I was quite shocked when I suddenly remembered that part again. The ending was very fitting and I sure know I’ll never look at blood oranges the same way ever again. It’ll always, always be associated with this novel now :-).

I received a free copy of this novel from a lovely blog friend. This is my own opinion.

37 thoughts on “Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce #BookReview

  1. Alison sounds like someone I wouldn’t like at first.
    I feel like I learned sth new from your review. I had no idea that alcoholism was common for barristers, and also that information about psychopaths…
    I know this book is very popular, was hyped even before it’s release…

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    • Alison’s definitely not likeable at first and I’m not saying I took a 180° turn but when you hear more from her it’s clear there are a few reasons she behaves this way so she doesn’t look sooo bad anymore. I work at a law firm myself (as a secretary) and it’s common knowledge.. not because of the after-work drinks as in the novel but the client lunches and many other events and the stress of work itself… we even lost someone because of it last year. Thank you Irena!

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    • I don’t know but they certainly can. We lost the head of a department and there were never any remarks on his work, not before and not after. He was always a bit too winded at office parties (as some others though so that wasn’t really anything special) but nobody knew how deep his problem was. Lawyers are all about standing and reputation and they’ll go to all limits to hide it. Taking 3 months off for a treatment would need explanation, approval, people would know, clients might find out, other firms might hear… unfortunately, they have receptions, events, luncheons and other stuff practically every week so it’s really difficult to say no if it’s already come so far.

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    • 😃😄 You have a point there although I’ve only read a few myself with these tropes and I try to avoid them. I didn’t really have a problem with them or her but everything was so negative and it was full of bad choices, I missed some positivity really, it weighed me down. Not one I want to reread and go through again.

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      • I don’t mind flawed characters, but there’s a point when everything starts to repeat itself, and that’s a turn off. And this one sounds heavily weighted to the negative, without the balance of more positivity.

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  2. Wonderful review! I’m definitely curious about the story although it does sound like Alison and me won’t be getting along haha. Also, cheating is kind of a turn off as well, especially with you mentioning how he treats her and all.

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  3. Great review, Inge. I didn’t know that fact about barristers. Now I want to Google and find out the connection between the profession and alcoholism. This sounds like an entertaining read. I am curious about the legal aspects though it sounds as if that’s not the main focus.

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  4. Only 3?! Aw, maaan… i was so looking forward to it, and finally bought it yesterday. I do love character focused books, but when it distracts you from the actual plot it’s just a bit meh… :/

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    • I’m sorry but yes, I’m still not changing my mind 😌 Don’t worry though, loads of other bloggers love it so there’s absolutely a bigger chance you love it 😉 If you don’t see what’ll happen with one of the plotlines then you’ll already like it more but it was pretty obvious for me so that spoiled the fun. I really want to know how you feel about it so I hope you read it soon 😁

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  5. Your review is so terrific. I’ve gone back and forth on adding this one but the primary reason I wanted to read it is because I love blood oranges. That’s not really a good reason to read a book, is it? Hmmm, I think I’ll pass on it for now. Thank you for your honesty as always. I value it.

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    • Thank you so much 😘 Everyone else seems to love this novel so I wish I had loved it more. I love the cover too and had such high hopes I bumped it to the top of my readlist. I hope I wasn’t too negative, it didn’t make up for the rest but apart from the one twist I saw coming from the start it did have two great twists I didn’t see coming at all and they did alter my opinion on the characters in a way, so it’s really not all bad 😉

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  6. I bought this book for myself for my birthday, partially for the cover and partially for the reviews, but I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I loved the ending–I thought it was so well-done and completely unexpected! I kept wondering how the beginning was going to tie in somewhere, and I was way off, lol. I didn’t like Alison at all and since she was a mother, I really found her behavior appalling. It was a bit of a trainwreck, I think, but oddly, I read it in one sitting, so I must have been fascinated! Wonderful, thoughtful review as always, Inge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes that ending was really great, I totally agree… silly how I completely lost sight of that thread! And it was a readable novel for me too, it never crossed my mind to give up reading so I totally understand you read it in one sitting, wanting to know how it would end for Alison. The entire novel has such a negative vibe though that I know I won’t reread it. Thanks so much for your comment Stephanie, I appreciate your thoughts and understanding ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really was! I think it was so readable because you couldn’t help but want to know what happened to her-like watching an accident. I won’t reread it either and hate that I bought it. You’re welcome! I definitely know where you are coming from with this one. It’s being made into a movie and I almost wonder if it will be worth watching…

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