Suzanne Seddon – A Fool’s Circle

Expectations before reading

“Kate Sanders has suffered many years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of her abusive husband Alan, and convinces herself that she is only holding the family together for the sake of her eight-year-old daughter. If it wasn’t for her best friend Jill Reynolds, she would have taken the suicide option a long time ago.

As she desperately seeks a way to escape, she is contacted by a solicitor. Kate’s old aunt has died and she has been left a small fortune.

For the first time, she sees the light at the end of the tunnel. She dreams of a fresh start, a new home, a new life. What Kate doesn’t know is that Jill and Alan have their own secrets, and are both desperate to get their hands on her money.

Kate soon finds herself falling for the charms of Jonathon Jacobs in what she believes to be fate finally intervening and offering her a second chance, unaware that each move he makes has been directed, orchestrated and well-rehearsed as he begs her to leave her husband Alan.

But is it all too late, as she finds herself in the frame for murder?

PLEASE NOTE: THIS BOOK CONTAINS POTENTIAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND MENTAL ABUSE TRIGGERS. READER DISCRETION ADVISED.“

I saw this book on Instagram and thought that it sounded very interesting. I thought about asking the author for a review version but then decided I didn’t have enough time… until she accidently wrote me! So we wrote a bit and then I decided I had to read and review this book.

What do I expect?

A thrilling novel, but a difficult one. Not in terms of language but in terms of violence and mental abuse. But I also think it is so important not to be silent about these topics. And what is better than writing a book about it?

The Book

4,25 Stars

Plot ★★★★

Kate Saunders is living in an abusive relationship with her husband Alan. This book is about her way out of this relationship. But at the same time it is a crime story, as a murder happens and Kate becomes the main suspect. The plot contains many shocking and violent scenes of Alan abusing Kate and of their daughter Sophie who hears it all and tries to cope with it.

Due to the change of perspectives the reader is omniscient quite early. Nevertheless the author manages to surprise you over and over again until the very end.

This book contains many violent and shocking scenes as it is about Kate and her way out of an abusive relationship with her husband Alan.

Characters ★★★★

I liked all the individual characters a lot. The “evil” ones and the “good” ones. You may sometimes think “why doesn’t Kate defend herself?” but at the same time you understand exactly why she reacts the way she does when Alan is abusing her. Because the author manages to show all her reasons so very well. You get a great insight into Sophie’s feelings even though she is only 8 yeas old. The only thing I did not like that much was that I felt there was something fishy about some of the characters and I was right about it.

Setting ★★★★

The story is set in today’s London which makes it is easy to dive into the story. Everything is very coherent.

Style ★★★★★

I just love the author’s style of writing. Once you have started reading this book it is very hard to stop. I also liked the changes of perspective a lot. And the foreshadowing.

Opinion after reading

It was warned that this book contains abusive vocab and scenes. It does. So if you think you can’t cope with scenes like this you probably shouldn’t read this book. However, I wonder if warnings like this are really necessary. I have read books that contained such scenes and didn’t have a warning.
Anyways. It definitely is not an easy reading. And it does have many violent scenes. Nevertheless, I can really recommend reading it. In my opinion it is important to speak (or in this case) write about domestic abuse. As the reader can easily see while reading most of the victims don’t talk about their actual situation at home but try to find other excuses for their injuries. In my opinion the hardest parts to read weren’t the parts of Kate’s abuse but the scenes that included her daughter Sophie. Kate is aware that Sophie hears all those fights. But she is not aware what it really does to her and it is heartbreaking to read how Sophie tries to cope with the endless fighting and abuse and at the same time tries to be a strong and perfect daughter to her mother.
This book is a great combination of drama and crime story. Even though you can guess some things quite early it is still thrilling and has many twists you did not expect. I loved the style of writing it was very hard to stop reading.

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