Cover Image: The Confession

The Confession

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Member Reviews

I loved this book. The plot was so well thought out and executed, and I enjoyed how you know the murderer from the start, but the motive is not clear until the end. I would definitely recommend this.
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This is a great book full of twists and turns and well worth reading. I was gripped from the first page and it held my interest throughout. Every time I thought I had the plot worked out and twist came along. Excellent.

The characters were engaging and felt very real. A great read that I would recommend to crime lovers.
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Well researched, and interesting from a historical perspective of Ireland at the time.  The story itself had a good premise, but I thought it could have been tightened up somewhat - at 400 pages it was very long with little happening, and I felt that at 300 pages it would have been a much more interesting story.  I also would have preferred the characters to be more fleshed out.
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Excellent, cracking read. This was a new author to me and I really enjoyed the twists and turns. I had to suspend belief in parts but overall it was well-plotted and good characters.
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I've never read a Jo Spain before and I don't think that their writing style works for me. I read a LOT of thrillers and need a fast paced read with nothing too predictable. Or a slow burn with excellent character building. I felt as though this was too mish-mashy and wasn't intriguing enough.
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The Confessions by Jo Spain is a book that will grab you by the first page and drag you along in a fast-paced thriller.  When Harry is attacked in front of his wife by a stranger, his assailant hands himself into Police.  The story has you guessing which character is telling the truth and which one is lying.  Brilliant read.  4 stars
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Why did a total stranger wander into the McNamara's living room and viciously attack Harry McNamara with a golf club? Julie, his wife looks on frozen with fear. As if that isn't strange enough, an hour later the attacker walks calmly into the local police station and hands himself in.  He claims not to know the victim.  Is this true?   Detective Sergeant Alice Moody and Station Sergeant Gallagher take on this most confusing of cases.  

The construction of this book uses the now familiar one of the main players telling us the story from their point of view – all except Harry of course, who's in no state to do or say anything.  Julie takes us way back to her first meeting with the charismatic – and wealthy – Harry who owns his own bank. We learn not very much about Alice Moody other than she is as tenacious as a pitbull, and we also get the attacker's back story. He is John Paul Carney – J.P. to his family; son of an alcoholic father, a missing mother and brother to Charlie

Harry's dubious financial antics are only slightly relevant, and just added unnecessary detail. J.P.'s ramblings about his miserable childhood, again, were very detailed and ultimately quite repetetive and boring. Julie is the typical wife-left-to-her-own-devices, whilst revelling in the lavish lifestyle, doesn't really know how Harry has achieved his wealth.

Although quite well plotted, the twists are a bit overdone and not really plausible, so although I quite enjoted it, I wouldn't rave about it.
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From the books description and opening I really wanted to be hooked. It starts really promisingly and reels you in right away but after that I feel like it starts to drop off. The author goes into a lot of detail setting the scene and I felt it halted and jarred the story a bit too much for me. A good book but I wish it had a little more pace.
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A whydunnit rather than a whodunnit. We know right from the first chapter what happened, but what we don't have a clue about is why.

Started brilliantly and had me hooked but I'm afraid to say it started to go a little downhill from thereon in for me. It felt a bit dragged out and there was too much scene setting. I think I may be starting to be a little jaded by this genre so perhaps it's not so much the book, as me...

An OK read, not my favourite.
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From the very get go this is a book that will grab hold of your imagination and not let go until you turn that last page.

This is the first book of Jo Spain’s that I have read and I now have her next book ‘Dirty Little Secrets’ on pre-order and if this book is anything to go by I can’t wait.

It is quite hard to review this one without giving anything away and I would hate to ruin it for anyone, it is one of those books that you need to read and discover for yourselves and let the twists and turns make your head spin with no outside influence!

With an opening like this –

“It’s the first spray of my husband’s blood hitting the television screen that will haunt me in the weeks to come – a perfect diagonal splash, each droplet descending like a vivid red tear.

That, and the sound of his skull cracking as the blows from the golf club rain down”

It makes sure it has your attention straight off the bat, or should that be club? 😂

Some brilliantly crafted characters and some wonderfully written intrigue this is one for any fan of this psychological thriller genre. I just wish I had read this one sooner and Jo Spain’s other books will now be heading to my ever-increasing tbr pile!

A big thank you to the author Jo Spain, publishers Quercus Books, Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest and independent review.
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I am currently working on expanding our school library's senior section after years of a dismal and uninspiring selection of books that our older readers never checked out.  My job has been to seek out much more diverse, gripping and modern books that will get them into reading by appealing to as broad a range of readers as possible. This really appealed to me because of its fantastic narrative and sense of atmosphere, combined with believable characterisation and its page-turning nature. It's hard to get young people into reading and if the library is not stocking the kind of book that they might grow up to buy as adult readers then we are not really meeting their needs. I can imagine this provoking lots of discussion after finishing it and a long queue of people trying to reserve it as they've heard so much about it. Will definitely be buying a copy and know that it's going to be a very popular choice. An engrossing read that kept me up far too late to finish reading it. It certainly stood out from the other books that I was considering and I look forward to converting more Jo Spain fans in future!
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I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Quercus Books, and the author Jo Spain. 
This was a gripping and enjoyable psychological thriller, which was very easy to read and had me hooked almost all the way through. 
A good narrative with well-developed characters, although I was slightly disappointed by the denouement. 
Would still recommend, however! Would be great for a holiday. 3.5*s
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The opening of this book is a lesson in how to hook your reader – and is also not for the faint-hearted. It’s shocking, but not gratuitous, and brings you straight into the drama.
Told form varying points of view, we follow Julie as she meets and marries Harry, realises he’s not all he’s cracked up to be, but finds herself unable to give him up. We also follow JP, his troubling past, and discover what has led him to this crime.
There is also Alice, the detective assigned the case, who  knows there’s more to it than others want to believe, but who is frustrated at every turn, by both JP and by Julie.
This is a very well-written book, and one that is much more than a crime novel. There is much here about the complexities of love, loyalty and jealousy, there is also a good dose of social comment (without being preachy) and enough drama to keep you turning the pages.
I did feel, however, that there could have been more detail about Harry and Julie’s early relationship. It’s all a bit vague – how did he become so successful exactly? And I wanted more about Alice too. She’s a great character, funny, clever and interesting and I felt that she deserved much more room in this novel.
I was also a little disappointed by the ending. It didn’t feel that realistic to me.
That said, this is a really enjoyable read.
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Thanks to netgalley for the ARC of this great book.  The book starts off with a bang! A man is killed in his house, by an unknown assailant.  They did not know each other, and the assailant claims he doesn't know why he did it.  He just felt like it.... That sets the tone for a thrilling read, trying to discover the reasons behind the assault.  I kept on thinking I knew what would happen next, just to be surprised at the next page, and the next, and the next.....
Highly recommended!!
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Loved the banker scandal backdrop for this book, and I was kept guessing for a long time about what exactly needed to be confessed. A lovely, twisty, suspenseful read with interesting characters.

Note to self - read more Jo Spain books!
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With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Confession is a standalone novel and is the first that I have read by Jo Spain. After reading this novel, and looking at the series of books that she has written I have plenty to keep me occupied.
I have seen some reviews of this book from readers who had picked up on the twists, but I missed them all. I knew that Harry wasn’t the nicest of men but couldn’t work out how to feel about Julia. As the novel progressed my levels of liking of her decreased slightly. Even though I did still have sympathy for her, I think she was a bit heartless to her family and friends. Did she have anything to do with the attack or was she a witness? Like many people who read this novel I had no liking at all for Harry. It was hard to see why she stayed with him.
Strangely, even though he had committed a crime, JP was a character I did like. He had managed to make a better life for himself and his sister and was obviously devoted to her. As the novel progressed my heart broke a little bit.
Even though this is a crime novel, there is less focus on the police than usual. There are a few chapters that feature Alice, who is sometimes not taken seriously by either her colleagues or Julia but she was proof that you shouldn’t judge my appearances.
A great novel, I’m looking forward to following this author in the future.
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What just happened here today?
I read this. Yes I read this in one sitting not doing much else, it’s gripping story that hauls you in by the scruff of your neck.

It starts with an appalling event, a murder. Julie’s husband lies dead after a blood curdling graphic attack. I dare you not to imagine it as his wife looks on and witnesses it.

At the beginning we know just what’s is happening. You find out who did it.
Yes no guessing. We are told.
But we aren’t told why until the last page.

The lives interested by a few.

It’s diffi to write a review without giving anything away.

This is dark, twisty, thought provoking.

This is brilliant stuff! 

Remarkablely different.
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I really enjoyed this book! The shocking opening sucked me right in and I couldn’t put it down. The book is fantastically written, the characters all well developed and realistic. It had me guessing throughout with twists and turns that weren’t obvious or expected. It was a really enjoyable read and I’ll definitely be reading more by Jo Spain! 

Thank you to Jo Spain, NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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A man walks into the lounge of a married couple and brutally attacks Harry McNamara with a golf club. His wife Julie witnesses the whole thing. The attacker then hands himself into the police, still covered in blood.

So right from the beginning we know who committed the crime, the answer that we need to know is why?

This gritty psychological thriller explores the crime from three different angles. Firstly, we have the attacker, JP Carney, then on to the victim's wife Julie and finally from the perspective of Detective Sargeant Alice Moody.

Most of the characters have unlikeable personalities but they are highly believable and keep the reader guessing who can be trusted. The victim Harry is an affluent banker, charming but highly ambitious and well known in his field. Why would someone want him dead?

Then there is Julie his wife, is she hiding something and why wasn't she targeted too?

I loved this highly original psychological thriller, the pace and plotline were seamless and thought-provoking. I will be keeping my eye out for more from Jo Spain.
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I stupidly let this book languish on my to read pile for months. I picked it up when I read a profile of the author and now I'm going to have to download her whole back catalogue. I don't usually enjoy tales of flawed characters, normally I like to have at least one character I can support and root for but somehow the flawed characters here are so well drawn that you want things to work out for them or at least to understand how their tragedy evolved.
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