Oliver Ryan is a handsome and charismatic success story. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, Alice, who illustrates his award-winning children’s books and gives him her unstinting devotion. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease – enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and beats her into a coma.
In the aftermath, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, Oliver tells his story. So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades. What unfolds is a story of shame, envy, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.
Only Oliver knows the lengths to which he has had to go to get the life to which he felt entitled. But even he is in for a shock when the past catches up with him.
Oliver is not a nice man.
Unravelling Oliver starts shockingly with the description of how he beat his wife and leaves her in a coma, Oliver is totally nonplussed at this.
Having once been an abused ‘girlfriend’ it was difficult to read, but I stuck with it and found that although you can’t like or enjoy the story, I did however find it quite interesting.
The story is written from the points of view of those who knew and were involved with Oliver and Alice. Each giving their own tale on how they knew the couple, it is very cleverly written and Unravelling Oliver is the perfect title for this book as that’s exactly what it does.
Oliver is the master manipulator and a sociopath, beguiling and charismatic, he is ruthless in his emotions and his dealings with people.
Unravelling Oliver is a well written novel and one that is disturbing while being an incredible read. It has secrets that are divulged as twists that sympathy and empathy are emotions you will genuinely feel, but then you remember that Oliver is not all he seems and that takes that emotion away.
Liz Nugent has managed to write a powerful novel and I am pleased that I have new psychological suspense writer as a new playmate.