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The Perfect Betrayal

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Member Reviews

I had no idea what to make of this. Was Shelley really a grief counsellor? Was she a good friend or trying to steal Tess's son? And was brother-in-law Ian making up the loaned money or not? Why did Mark go to Frankfurt when the trip was cancelled - was he involved in dodgy dealings? And who was the mystery man threatening Tess? So many questions and I genuinely didn't know the answers until the end. And what an ending!! Thanks to #netgalley for an advance review copy. #netgalley #theperfectbetrayal
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Such a good book. After the death of her husband, Tess is struggling to look after her young son and herself. She is befriended by her grief counsellor, while trying to fend off  her brother-in-law’s attempts to get money out of her, while also feeling afraid of the mystery person who is trying to put the frighteners on her. 
I found it difficult to put this book down and I came up with many theories as to who was trying to harm her and her son - all wrong! Highly recommended.
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A powerful look at love and loss . The mind is a wonderful thing but beware of its lies...
Very moving book which helps us all understand grief a little better.
Well worth a read
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Oh my goodness! I wasn’t expecting that at all. 
I so enjoyed this book. It starts with Tess who is in hospital and in pain - the story jumps from the present to the past and it becomes apparent that Tess’ husband Mark has died in a tragic accident.
The grief Tess and her young son are suffering is heartbreaking, so her Mum arranges for a grief counsellor to speak to her. Shelley arrives and things start to look up.
But who is following Tess and what do they want from her? Who is the person that tries to drive her off the road and can she really trust Mark’s brother Ian when he says Mark borrowed money from him before he died which Tess needs to pay back? 
Come to think of it, can she trust Shelley with her son?
I had no idea how this was all going to end and have to admit to getting annoyed with Tess, not believing she couldn’t see how Shelley was manipulating her. If only I’d known!! 
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5 Stars.

Thank You to NetGalley, Lauren North and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for giving me the chance to read this amazing and twisted book. 

WOW!!!! what a book. Mostly told from Tess's point of view this book is emotional and dark with a twist that I WAS NOT expecting. I was hooked from just reading the title. 

well done Lauren North on writing such an amazing book that I couldn't put down. Lauren made me feel angry, happy and sad at time's throught the boook and I am really shocked at how she managed to put that huge twist in front of me and change my feelings to something that I can not describe. 

I highly recommend this book. Its an amazing read that I think people will love just as much as I do.
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This rather haunting and spooky story is about the effects that one random person can have on the lives of so many people.

Tess and 7 year old son Jamie feel that their lives have ended.  They are reeling from shock and pain when news of Mark's death in an air accident reaches them.

Tess cannot sleep, think, or put one foot in front of the other as someone day merges into another.  They have just moved into Mark's mother's house which they purchased from his brother Ian in a 50/50split.  Packing cases and boxes litter the cold house.

Grief counsellor Shelley appears in their lives.  She has also had to deal with immense grief herself, after the death of her son Dylan.  She seems to understand how and why Tess is not coping and enjoys spending time with Jamie.

Strange things begin to happen that leave the already anxious Tess in a state of dread.  She feels she is being watched, some-one has been in the house and removed some items, some-one is watching them both.  She cannot face talking to her own close family and even less, Mark's brother Ian who wants her to push ahead with sorting probate etc.

The power of the mind is quite extraordinary, and this is a great example of that.  A sad story that is written so well.  I wouldn't say this is a feel good book but it does make you think.

I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are all my own and completely unbiased.  My thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity.
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Welcome to my blog tour stop of The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North. I love a good keep-you-guessing thriller and when I saw the mention of untrustworthy characters and dark moments, I couldn’t sign up fast enough to this tour.

Thanks to Random Things Tours for letting me participate and for giving me a book for review consideration. As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion. 


“There is a snippet of time, oh so short, when the morphine in my system begins to fade, but the pain is still fuzzy.”


When I started reading this book, I became very emotionally attached to the main character. Her story is so sad, and I felt the weight of her depression and sense of loss. Everything from the description of how cold her body felt, the sheer loneliness dripping of the pages and the pent up anger. They all just painted a portrait of grief.

And then we have the sinister, seemingly random and plain old odd events. Which made this a very intriguing read that I wanted to read quickly. About half way through, I suddenly had a strong sense of what was happening. I simultaneously wanted to reread the first half of the book, and also finish the book asap to see was I right! I went with finishing it, and every chapter I read just made more and more sense.

Even though I guessed the plot, this remained a riveting read, that I couldn’t devour fast enough. And I still want to reread the first half of the book.


I’d highly recommend this to fans of psychological thrillers especially if you like unreliable narrators, palpable tension and emotional plots.  Fans of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn,  Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson and The Secret Place by Tana French should also really enjoy this one.
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This is the first book of this author I have read and I’m so glad I got chosen to read this book. It is a very sad but brilliant story. At first you think you know where the story line is going but then in the middle you think no this is going to happen but then right at the end you get a very surprise twist. This book is about mental health and grief and is written very well from all points of view
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Full of twists and turns to throw you off the plot really enjoyed this book interesting storyline Recommended the only reason l did not give it 5* is that l felt the ending a little rushed but well worth a read
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I'm going to try and be careful not to give away anything that might reveal the plot in its entirety, because the emotional crescendo at the end and psychological aspect of the story is what makes it such a captivating read.

When Tess loses her husband unexpectedly her grief envelopes her whole world. She becomes fiercely protective of her young son Jamie, almost to the point of being paranoid and self-destructive. A grief counsellor called Shelley tries to help Tess deal with her loss, but ends up making her doubt herself and her surroundings even more.

The paranoia Tess experiences is magnified tenfold by her brother-in-law Ian. He is pushing Tess to deal with the financial aftermath of the death, pushing entirely in his favour of course. His greed and the fact there seem to be discrepancies and unanswered questions about the death of her spouse make Tess even more sensitive to the odd things that start happening around her.

The author captures the intensity of the grief process and how it manifests differently in each of us. In some people it manifests in feelings of anger, guilt, fear, perhaps even relief depending on the circumstances of the loss. Grief isn't necessarily rational and can cause an altered state of mind.

I think the most difficult thing is that the people outside of that intense inner ring of grief often lack compassion, empathy and understanding about the way a grieving person may react. They expect the grieving person to deal with it, get over it and just move on to the next chapter of their lives. It isn't that simple. Grief is a pit of embers that alights when triggered. Those embers may be less likely to precede a fire with time, but make no mistake they are always hidden somewhere deep inside.

It's a psychological thriller, and in equal measures a story about grief and mental health. How the emotional turmoil caused by despair, death and losing the people you love the most can drive a person to the brink.

North brings the story full circle at the end, and in a way brings the most realistic element of this tale into the last few pages. Tess makes a decision for her own well-being, perhaps not what everyone thinks is best, but in that moment in time it's the right thing for her or is it?
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Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
The synopsis sounded both intriguing and exciting and I couldn't wait to get reading. However I found the beginning of the story confusing, which made it hard to get into. Having got over that, I found the plot mysterious, and very creepy. I had two ideas of a potential outcome, and I couldn't decide which of the thrilling ways it was going to go. It turned out to be neither, and I would never in a million years have been able to forsee the conclusion to this story.  Unfortunately although a huge suprise, my jaw dropped, as I couldn't believe my disappointment!
Sadly for me the premise wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped and it's three stars from me for the middle section which I did enjoy.
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This was a really good book and kept me enthralled through beginning to end. I kept thinking I knew where it was going, then changing my mind before changing it back again. So many different theories running through my brain!!!

Tess has lost the love of her life, Mark and is trying to come to terms with her loss. She is trying her hardest to go through the motions for her and her 7 year old son Jamie’s sake. Her mum and brother are worried about her and concerned that she is suffering from depression so her mother arranges for a grief counsellor (Shelley) to visit. Tess forms a bond with Shelley but starts to suspect all may not be as it seems when she receives numerous calls, fears she is being followed and is convinced that someone has been in her home. 

I enjoyed the book and look forward to more from this author. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced read copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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The Perfect Betrayal is one of those books that has you hooked from the very first chapter ,so well plotted and the characters are very well  drawn .It is a harrowing story of love and loss and the effects of this .Quite a sad story really ,it is difficult to say too much without spoiling it for other readers .When I had finished this book it did make me reflect the story I think it is one I won't forget .Many thanks to the Publishers ,the Author and NetGalley for my review copy in return for an honest review
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A suspenseful, well plotted and well-written book. Lots of twists and turns packed with emotion. I am looking forward to reading more from this author. Recommended.
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The Perfect Betrayal is a gripping read that keeps you guessing, with an unexpected ending. 
3.5 stars
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This story had me completely suckered in right from the start - I read it in a day or so because I needed to find out who was terrorising Tess. 
Tess has gone through the trauma of losing her husband in a plane crash, and now she i being terrorised with silent phone calls, and being followed. What is her brother in law Ian really up to? Is Shelley in cahoots with him? Is Shelley the sympathetic friend that she seems to be? Well worth a read.
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Tess is devastated by the tragic death of her husband in a crash.  It soon becomes apparent that her husband was keeping secrets from her, a new business, a loan from his brother and a person who keeps ringing her and following her.  Enter the almost too good to be true Shelley, a grief counsellor who fronts up and seems to say and do all the right things.  But are her intentions good, or does she have an ulterior motive?
Can Tess keep herself and her son safe?  Who can she trust?
This book was starting to frustrate me, I kept questioning the decisions made by the main character and why she was pushing away the people closest to her and trusting an almost complete stranger in Shelley.
Having said that toward the end of the book there is a twist that I really did not see coming at all!! Suddenly all of the pieces fell into place and to say I was shocked is an understatement.
A very well written book about loss, and mistrust.  
Thank you Random House UK, Transworld Digistal and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this title.
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Thank you netgalley for this ARC!
Wow!! Loved this book! Did not see the twist at the end coming. Excellent plot. Kept me hooked.
Tess has lost her husband. Ian, her husband Marks brother, is putting pressure on Tess to sign executor power to him. Mark owes him money and he wants it back.
Shelley is a grief councilor, Tess welcomes her friendship until strange things start happening. Is Shelley really looking after Tess or is she working with Ian?
Tess is in hospital. Jamie is missing, she's desperate to find him. Convinced Ian and Shelley are behind it.
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Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this unsettling read.
Our narrator, Tess, is someone we’re never totally sure about. It’s evident she’s in the throes of grief and struggling to cope, but her increasing edginess is catching. We begin to doubt those around her as we succumb to her obsessions, yet are always mindful that she may not be telling us quite everything.
When we are first introduced to Tess she’s finding it hard to adjust to life after the untimely death of her husband in a plane crash. She receives unusual phone calls, her brother-in-law is pestering her to sort out the estate as he claims to be owed a hundred thousand pounds, there’s a strange man following Tess and a grief counsellor who inserts herself into Tess’s life controlling many aspects of it and ostracising her from family and friends.
At various points in the novel a number of scenarios were feasible. It’s testimony to the writing style that we’re not certain which, if any, are credible.
The truth, when it finally comes, makes perfect sense. It is - if I’m being entirely honest - not at all what we’re led to believe and a bit of a shock. However, the reality is actually deep,y unsettling and shows the extent to which grief can impact on us.
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My thanks to Random House/Transworld Digital for an eARC via NetGalley of this intense psychological thriller in exchange for an honest review. It’s available as an ebook now and in paperback in June.

‘The Perfect Betrayal’ opens with a very dramatic scene with its main character, Tess, in an ICU recovering from a stab wound. The narrative then moves back in time to recount the events that lead up to that day and on occasion there are transcripts of interviews with Tess seeking to explain the circumstances of the stabbing.

Following the sudden death of her husband, Mark, Tess is grieving deeply. She is barely keeping it together even with her 7-year old son, Jamie. When Shelley, a grief counsellor, comes into Tess’s life things improve and yet there are the occasional unsettling incidents that make Tess begin to doubt Shelley’s intentions.

In addition, Ian, her brother-in-law, is claiming that Mark had borrowed £100,000 from him that he needs returned. Yet Tess knows nothing of this and is sticking her head in the sand about dealing with his estate.

Sometimes the shifts in time were a little confusing but I got used to them. Certainly I found this very difficult to put down and again would suggest that it is best read without too much prior knowledge so as not to spoil its various twists.

Death,loss and bereavement are never easy subjects to approach whether in fiction especially when portraying someone coming to terms with a sudden death. I did feel that Lauren North wrote from an awareness of the complexity of grief and a sensitivity to the psychological aspects. 

A very impressive debut.
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