Sunday, May 17, 2015


Peace of mind can be fragile and fleeting. That’s what Catherine Ravenscroft discovers when a mysterious novel arrives at her home and throws a monkey wrench into her previously well-constructed life. Happily married to her soulmate. Respected and admired by her colleagues.

But all that’s about to be blown to smithereens. 

The mysterious novel's disclaimer, “Any resemblance to persons living or dead,” has been neatly crossed out with red ink. To her horror, Catherine realizes she is the protagonist of a novel that revolves around an undocumented incident from her past. The resemblance is uncanny with all details intact, even down to what she was wearing on that ill-fated day. Without revealing too much of the plot, I will say the secret involves her son Nicholas and the tragic death of a nineteen-year-old man.

As Disclaimer progresses, we hear another voice, a mournful one belonging to the author of the poisonous novel – who, by the way, is the victim’s father, a man intent on destroying Catherine’s quiet happiness.

At first, my sympathies were with Catherine, but as the storyline unfolded, I empathized more and more with the lonely widower struggling to make sense of a senseless tragedy.

But not all is as it seems.

Shocking disclosures emerge as author Renée Knight adds more levels of deceit, turning blame upside down and making it difficult to distinguish between victims and villains. As for true survivors... Can there be any? Interestingly enough, I asked the same question after reading Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Joanne Guidoccio is the author of Between Land and Sea and A Season for Killing Blondes. Visit her website at

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