2016 Reviews · contemporary fiction · mystery · thriller

Book Review: Disclaimer by Renee Knight


Book blurb:

Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew–and that person is dead.

Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day even if the shocking truth might destroy her.

3 stars

Disclaimer is a fast paced psychological thriller, that really got under my skin at times and the best word to use to define the novel would be ‘creepy’. Disclaimer is a clever novel that explores how a person would feel and react if they were to find themselves cast as the principal subject in a crime novel. Catherine is just this person, she appears to have the perfect life, but this is shattered when she discovers a self published novel on her bedside table in her new home. Curious, she opens the book, starts reading and is horrified to discover the book is about her. The novel hits right at the heart, relating back to a terrible secret Catherine has held for many years. The book goes into detail about this awful secret and shockingly concludes with Catherine’s ugly death. As Catherine struggles to come to grips with this disturbing influence in her life, Disclaimer shifts back and forth revealing the author of the novel and the details surrounding the incident twenty years earlier.

Disclaimer is one of those novels that would fall easily into the current trend of domestic noir. It is dark, creepy and disturbing. It is also a highly original book, I liked that the author essentially wrote a book about a book. It is an intense read and once you begin this book, it is hard to stop turning the pages. For me, this is always a clear sign of a good psychological thriller. The shifting viewpoints and movements back and forth in time serve to keep the reader on their toes. I wasn’t quite sure of what would be around the corner while I read Disclaimer, it is a very unsettling novel.  When I got to the closure of Disclaimer, I felt like I had been taken on a wild and thrilling ride. This is a book that will disorientate you and challenge your perceptions of how humans can respond to incidents. Renee Knight shows the long lasting effects a fateful incident can have, through the actions of her characters in Disclaimer.

Disclaimer is a twisted tale of revenge, with a cast of complicated characters that are bound to send shivers down your spine. Disclaimer is a novel that will appeal to readers who enjoy being tantalised by the unknown is this original psychological thriller.

Disclaimer was published in 2015 by Random House Books Australia http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/renee-knight/disclaimer-9781784160227.aspx


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