The Night Book Richard Madeley

51PI7cdeDCL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Pub: Simon & Schuster

The summer of 1976 was unprecedented in living memory. Days of blazing sunshine bled into weeks and months. In the Lake District, Cumbria’s mountains and valleys began to resemble a Grecian landscape. People swam in delightfully tropic waters to cool off. But, barely three feet below the surface, the temperature remained just a degree or so above freezing. As the summer blazed on, the drownings began…
What if someone wanted to take revenge? To remove an abusive, controlling partner from their life? When and where better to stage a murder and pass it off as an accidental drowning?

Whilst Mr Madeley is never going to win any awards for writing a literary masterpiece, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by The Night Book.

After listening to the author talk about the topic of this unassuming and interesting tale I was more than excited to read my first Madeley novel.

Meriel Kidd, a more than famous and very likable Agony Aunt is trapped in a marriage to the rich but old Cameron Bruton.  He treats her badly and to him she is nothing more than ‘arm candy’ young, pretty and although he despises her, he loves the fact that he has managed to ‘pull’ someone like her.

Meriel, has harboured secret fantasies about killing Cameron, even writing about how these futile dreams would take place in a diary she calls  The Night Book.

After meeting and falling in love with Seb, she decides to leave her husband, and after deciding to divorce him, she and Cameron find themselves on one last Sunday afternoon trip on their boat. Cameron tells her he has found her diary and makes an ultimatum that not only repulses Meriel but also seals his fate.

Richard Madeley’s novel is a clever and not altogether false representation of how some womens  minds work, how many of us have thought how we would do away with our other halves  given the chance? When in a moment of madness and after an awful episode that sometimes marriage and life in general throw at us, do we wish them ‘dead’?.

Of course, we tell ourselves that we wouldn’t do it, but when an opportunity arises that means that not only will Meriel be rid of the man she detests  but may also get away with it, she takes that chance.

The Night Book is a fabulous light read and is one that I really enjoyed. I was completely supportive of Meriel,  and in her found a woman who just wants to be loved and be happy.

This is a book that would be great for book clubs. I can imagine the debates of ‘would you or wouldn’t you’ and the types of scenarios that could be conjured up by readers with imaginative minds.

Recommended.

4*/5

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