His and Hers by Alice Feeney

His and Hers is an unusual and unsettling novel that will keep you guessing right to the final reveal. Anna has gone from reading the lunchtime news bulletin on television back to being a reporter, and is sent out to cover a murder in the village of Blackdown where she grew up. She is not happy about this demotion, and the situation goes from bad to worse when she discovers that her ex-husband, Jack, is the detective in charge of the investigation.

The story is told in alternating chapters by Anna and Jack, with occasional extracts from a third voice – the killer. This probably works well in the printed book, but in the kindle version I received from NetGalley it was a bit confusing until I realized who the voice belonged to. Anna and Jack are both unreliable narrators, and Alice Feeney plants just enough doubt in your mind to make you think that either one of them might be the killer.

The main characters are well written and believable though deeply flawed as individuals; we are gradually let into the secret of their backstory and everything starts to make a lot more sense. The chapters are short which moves the story along fairly quickly, and increases the tension as the body count rises and we try to guess the identity of the killer. Several times I thought I’d worked out who it was, but ambiguity and misdirection in the plot meant I was wrong every time.

I can imagine this story working well as a film or television drama. There are occasions when the reader has to suspend disbelief, but to avoid spoilers I won’t say any more. Certain themes in the book (such as bullying, grooming, animal cruelty and sudden infant death syndrome) have the potential to upset some readers, but are all relevant to the plot. I really enjoyed His and Hers, but it certainly kept me guessing right to the very end.

Thanks to HarperCollins HQ and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.

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