My review: The Spaces In Between, by Collin Van Reenan

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About the book:

One of the most disturbing true stories you will ever read…

Paris, 1968. Nicholas finds himself broke, without papers and on the verge of being deported back to England. Seeking to stay in France, Nicholas takes a three-month contract as an English tutor to the 17-year-old Imperial Highness Natalya. It is the perfect solution; free room and board, his wages saved, and a place to hide from police raids. All that is asked of Nicholas is to obey the lifestyle of the household and not to leave the grounds.

It should have solved all his problems…

The Spaces In Between details the experience of Nicholas as he finds himself an unwitting prisoner within an aristocratic household, apparently frozen in time, and surrounded by macabre and eccentric personalities who seem determined to drag him to the point of insanity. Much deeper runs a question every reader is left to ponder – if this tale is fact and not fiction, then what motivation could have driven his tormenters?

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

‘The Spaces In Between’ has one of the most interesting stories I have ever read. It has everything – the biggest mystery, love story, some Russian history and cultural features, a little bit of Paris, psychological thriller, a bit of drama and lots, lots, lots of secrets. 

The ending of the book can be disappointing for some readers, but I just liked it the way it was. Was it all fiction or not? Was it just a game of imagination? Was it a very vicious plan? And why…

Without giving anything away, I just say that I liked absolutely everything about this book. It kept my attention so much that I couldn’t wait to get on the bus on the way home or to work to start reading again chapter after chapter. The story is truly captivating. The possible truths are very interesting as well. And in my opinion, quite possible.

The cover designed by Patrick Knowles is an absolute masterpiece itself and illustrates the book so well.

My score is 5* out of 5*.

My review: The Girlfriend, by Sarah Naughton

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About the book:

Mags doesn’t believe her brother’s fall was an accident. In that forty-foot stairwell, he didn’t just slip over the edge.

But there is only one witness, Jody, the girlfriend grieving at his bedside.

Which is another story Mags doesn’t believe.

Because Jody likes telling stories, and this may be her most twisted one yet.

As Mags begins to unearth the secrets hidden in her brother’s wake, she finds she isn’t just looking for the truth. For Mags, this is more than a simple tragedy. This is an opportunity for revenge.

My review:

I must say that I enjoyed this book which will sound horrible because it is about some shocking life stories. Every character in this book has a hell of a childhood, upbringing and life in general.

The storyline is absolutely captivating. I had my suspicions but didn’t guess the truth.

Despite being at times annoying, Mags’ character is very likeable. She is very smart, confident and straightforward, and these qualities deserve some respect. She is also kind and caring, but somewhere deep inside. It is physically hard for her to express her feelings. But that’s the price you pay trying to be strong.

The author did a great job researching so difficult topics. Not everyone can write about these things, particularly in good depth and decency. Rape culture, mental illness, child abuse, depression, other crimes…and how all this affects a person who went through it. What protective mechanisms can be built to stay alive. 

The only trouble I had with the book is the title. In the book, it is clearly stated that Jodie was Abe’s fiancee, not a girlfriend. Maybe it wasn’t edited in my version.

I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good psychological thriller.

My score is 4* out of 5*.