Simon & Schuster UK – Published May 8th 2014.
Julia has always been the friend that Livy turns to when life is difficult. United fifteen years ago by grief at the brutal murder of Livy’s sister, Kara, they’ve always told each other everything.
Or so Livy thought.
So when Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot come to terms with the news that she chose to end her own life. The Julia that Livy knew was vibrant and vivacious, a far cry from the selfish neurotic that her family seem determined to paint her as.
Troubled by doubt but alone in her suspicions, Livy sets out to prove that Julia was in fact murdered. But little does she realise that digging into her best friend’s private life will cause her to question everything she thought she knew about Julia. And the truth that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart.
I received and e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Simon & Schuster Uk and Netgalley.
The structuring of this book reminded me of ‘This Is The Water’ by Yannick Murphy. We have chapters narrated by Livy, the main protagonist, as well as chapters told as memories by the killer.However, unlike ‘This Is The Water’, we do not find out who the killer is until close to the end.
Livy is a character I can relate to in that she has a busy home life and is devoted to her children. She’s very likable, if a little neurotic, and is already in turmoil before Julia dies as her marriage is failing due to her husbands past indiscretions. I wish McKenzie had told us a little more about Will, Livy’s husband, as all we knew was he was a hardworking professional who had been unfaithful in the past. I feel like he was defined by his mistakes and we didn’t get to know much else about him.
The killer, who describes himself as a “psychopath” is pretty well hidden in this book. For a while I was completely convinced it was a certain person, then in the middle of the novel my suspicion switched to somebody else and only about three quarters of the way through did it actually click with me who the killer was. I found the killer to be very cold and calculating, describing the murders with no emotion. He also only actually killed out of perceived necessity 4 times, the rest being purely for his pleasure. It was almost like he was claiming the victim as his own by killing them and keeping mementos from each person. He also claimed that he loved Kara, despite killing her, saying that she was his ‘angel girl’. Why kill her then? Why not try and be her boyfriend if you love her? I mean, he wasn’t rejected by her. He never even tried to be with her so what’s with the brutal murder? I would also have liked, at the end, to have some sort of reaction by the killer’s family instead of being left with no clue about the fallout.
Julia is a character that confused me greatly. We hear one version of her from Livy, another from Damien, her ‘Dirty Blonde’ and a third from her twin brother. I can believe that Livy and Damien’s versions of her were both true but her brother’s nastier version of her was neither proved or disproved and I would have love to know either way if he was telling the truth and if not, why. I feel that there was a lot more to Julia than we were told in the book.
Overall the book is gripping, although very repetitive in places. We hear Livy obsessing over Catrina it seems like every other page. I get that you would be worried about the woman your husband had an affair with but I think McKenzie over-egged the pudding a little. Also, I think that some of the action was maybe a little far-fetched. The one thing I really don’t like, not just in this book but in any, is any sort of violence or murder involving children. There isn’t a lot of it in there but it makes me really uncomfortable to read about it. I’m just really sensitive over anything to do with children or the elderly. Not the authors fault, I know, but if I had known about certain things that happened in the book before reading it then I would perhaps have thought twice. I’m going to give this book a solid 3 stars. I honestly would have given it 4 had it not been for harm coming to children in the story. That’s just a personal thing.
I would definitely recommend ‘Trust In Me’ for any fan of crime novels and thrillers. If, like me, you are sensitive about violence towards children, I would suggest proceeding with caution.