Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.
Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?
Sometimes it’s better not to know.
I have seen What Alice Knew all over social media, so being the curious person that I am I just had to read it for myself. I have read some of the reviews for this book and they are glowing to say the least but I’m going to be brutally honest and admit shock! horror! Although I enjoyed this novel it didn’t set my heart on fire. Don’t get me wrong it’s a very accomplished debut from new author on the block T.A. Cotterell, and he certainly knows how to produce a suspense fuelled read, but I did have a couple of issues with this book, mostly down to my own personal preferences when reading a book of this genre. I’m sure there are lots of reviewers who are shaking their heads, wondering if I’ve lost the plot (excuse the pun) at this point in my review.
I was surprised that this novel read totally different to the images I conjured up from the book description, so the author has done a remarkable job in leading the reader down a very “original” path. Rather than deal with “the who done it”, the author concentrated on the after-mass of events, a bold move in my opinion but he has deftly used this formula to good effect.What Alice Knew is certainly a character led novel unfortunately I wasn’t able to relate to either Alice or her husband Ed, Alice is an artist and much of what she feels is shown through her paintings, Ed appears to be completely self observed and shows very little emotion when you take in to consideration his actions and the consequences of his behaviour. As events spiral out of control for the “perfect” couple I found the main characters to be unreliable narrators which for me always enhances my enjoyment of a novel, as you are never quite sure where the truth lies and I found myself questioning the characters actions and intentions every step of the way.
It’s obvious from the authors writing that he loves art and he describes some of the finer points of art eloquently and with a great deal of passion, I must admit I did feel there were too many references to art, beautifully described but I found this distracted from my enjoyment of this book. Many reviewers are talking about the ending of this book, I’m must admit I pretty much guessed the ending, so I really wasn’t left thinking “what the hell just happened?” I felt the ending was ambiguous to say the least, personally I prefer an ending where by all my questions are answered by the last page, rather than being left to draw my own conclusions.
The descriptive style of writing is both lyrical and eloquent, but unfortunately some of this was also lost on me. I’ve come to the conclusion I’m a reader who likes to escape into a book but doesn’t necessarily look for a deeper meaning (my bad) but I’m sure What Alice Knew is going to be loved by many it’s certainly intriguing, twisted and very well executed and it definitely doesn’t read like a debut novel.
4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5
Print Length: 375 pages
Publisher: Transworld Digital (1 Dec. 2016)