30 Sep Book Review: ‘Disclaimer’ By Renée Knight
‘DISCLAIMER stealthily steals your attention and by the end holds you prisoner – a searing story that resonates long after the final page. The best thriller I’ve read this year’ – Rosamund Lupton
What if you realized the book you were reading was all about you?
When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up in bed and begins to read.
But as she turns the pages she is sickened to realize the story will reveal her darkest secret.
A secret she thought no one else knew…
Oh guys, ‘Disclaimer’ is one of these ‘Oh my God’, ‘WTF’ mind blowing psychological thrillers, that will get you hooked from the first page. It’s Renee Knight’s debut, but I swear to god, it doesn’t feel like a debut at all! Renee shows such magnificent skill in plotting amazing characters and creating dark and atmospheric story.
The book follows two stories, which though at the beginning seem they are not connected, they are in fact, very strongly. Catherine Ravenscroft is a successful documentary filmmaker, happily married and seems to lead the most amazing life until one day she finds a book at her home, starts reading and realizes the book is about her.
It seems she’s kept some secrets for decades and someone is trying to ruin her and her marriage. But what are the reasons someone is doing this to her after so many years? Who is this person that knows her so well and knows exactly what happened years ago?
Stephen Brigstocke is a retired teacher, a widower and apparently someone who just discovered something his dear wife Nancy was keeping secret for so many years. He’s tired and old, but he’s got a mission and it’s finally time to get the masks off and see who some people are. It’s time for them to pay for something they’ve done years ago. Some things need a closure and it’s up to him to reveal these dark secrets.
The story goes back and forth in time, to when Catherine was a young women, recently married and when Stephen was a teacher. It builds up gradually, revealing bits from Catherine’s and Stephen’s life. What I was most impressed by are the author’s skills to narrate from male’s POV, bearing in mind the author is a female. I can’t say I felt connected to any of the characters, but the story was so intense and gripping, that I really didn’t think much about the characters’ flaws. They were flawed and that made them look even more real. I could almost see Catherine’s face freeze the moment she came to that part in the book which is the big bang! I could also feel Stephen’s sorrow and great obsession.
I was reading and tweeting my fascination with this book and remember feeling so sad when I realized Renee isn’t on twitter, & I don’t have the chance to tell her by myself how much I’m loving the book. However, I must say even though I loved the concept, the development of the characters and the story’s pace, I was just tiny bit disappointed with the ending. It’s not that the ending was bad or I had some expectations for it, it’s just that some explanations at the end didn’t seem right to me. Maybe the ending felt bit rushed too, as if Renee wanted us to finally catch some air and loose the tension, but this was not my problem. Let’s just say I needed more facts to believe in something, and this is where I’ll stop as I’d hate to spoil the book for you.
Despite questioning some stuff at the ending, I really enjoyed ‘Disclaimer’. It’s one highly praised book and now I can totally understand why. It’s thought provoking, dark and gripping, and will haunt you for a long time. It will make you wonder how well do people know themselves and their partner and are there any big, dark secrets they’re keeping away from the world. Twisty, grippy psych thriller you must not miss out on.
My rating: 8/10