The Perfect Betrayal

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

What a twist!
Grief can affect a person in many ways, and losing your partner, your soulmate and loved one can tip you over the edge, and boy was Tess tipped when her husband Mark was killed in a horrific plane accident.
The effect his loss has on the life of Tess and all those around her is horrific. The paranoia, the needing to keep her son Jamie safe, the suspicions of those who were trying to help....
And I won't mention the ending but what I can say is that as soon as I read it, I sat bolt upright and was in shock... I hadn't expected that twist AT ALL!
Brilliantly written and hugely captivating.
Many thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for offfering me an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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This book meet all my expectations strong characters along with a strong plot/storyline which in turn creates a fabulous book.
A page turner with plenty of twists and turns.
I love thrillers that do not have a predictable ending and this certainly didn’t disappoint.

Thank you to both NetGalley and Random House for my eARC in exchange for my honest unbiased review
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Lauren North's THE PERFECT BETRAYAL is a chilling "inside-the-home" thriller that tells the story of Tess, a wife and mother who has just lost her husband in a plane crash. Distraught at her loss and demolished by grief, she is finding day-to-day life with her young son Jamie increasingly difficult to cope with - until Shelley, a grief counsellor, appears on her doorstep. Shelley helps Tess navigate simple household tasks and other parts of life, while giving her the time and space she needs to find her own feet again at a time when she has shrunk from all other social contact. But is Tess right to let this stranger become so involved in her life - so close to herself and her son? What does Shelley, who once lost a son who looked a lot like Jamie, REALLY want?

This book is a page-turning mystery that shoots (non-confusingly) back and forth through a timespan of two months, culminating in a shocking incident that occurs on Jamie's eighth birthday. How did Tess get to this point? Well, each chapter lays the bricks of this path as we watch events that first start as being "a little bit strange" slowly build themselves into a stunning denouement.

Added to the mystery behind Shelley's true motives for helping Tess is a mystery involving Tess's husband, his will, a distant brother-in-law who keeps turning up and asking blunt questions, and a strange man who keeps appearing around Tess's village. These multiple mysteries only add to the eeriness of the plot as it builds to its conclusion.

The book also explores very carefully, yet honestly, the fallout effects of grief when somebody loses someone so close to them. At times the book is heart-piercing in its exploration of Tess's feelings, her ability to cope with simple tasks, and how she finds her very being changing in the face of ultimate loss. It's a feeling some of us may have already experienced, or come close to experiencing, and at times it is incredibly sharp and exacting.

I stayed up later than I should have done to finish this book, which culminates in an almighty plot explosion that I am very happy to report I did not see coming. I worry sometimes that the "final chapters twist" is becoming a little bit tired in thriller and mystery fiction, but I didn't find this to be the case in THE PERFECT BETRAYAL. The ending only made me want to go back and re-read the book all over again from the beginning - and that is a feeling to be savoured among book lovers!

I'm very much looking forward to reading more of Lauren North's work.
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This book has the perfect title. Unputdownable book full of twist, turns and mysteries. Lots of questions to be answered, who, why and what if. I began to form a solution to the puzzles towards the end of the book but was I right or was there a far more sinister answer.
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The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North 
Thanks to @netgalley and  @randomhouse for my ARC
‘Who can you trust in your darkest moment?’
Wow this book completely blew me away. The characters and were very well written, predominantly the main character. It’s difficult to say too much or offer too much about this book as I don’t want to spoil. However I will say the author has managed to write about love, loss and grief in a terrific and really gripping way. Many twists and turns and the ending was fantastic. Highly recommended
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This book was absolutely brilliant, the twist at the end is fantastic and not expected!! Written brilliantly and a page turner for sure
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Wow! This book floored me! It had me gripped from the start. The ending totally shocked me. Big praise to this author for a fantastic read!
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I’m still holding my breath from reading this excellent book. It was compelling, exciting & distressing all at the same time. A book with a great twist too. I urge all to read it.
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This story is about Tess. She has recently lost her husband in a plane crash and is grief stricken. Her mother sends Shelley, a grief counsellor to speak to her in the hope that it would help her. From the start we know that something violent happened at her sons birthday party and also that her son is now missing. The story goes from interviews with everyone involved after the party and we also see what was happening leading up to it. 

This is the first book that I have read by this author. I thought that the book was very cleverly written and she managed to surprise me with the ending. I can honestly say that I never saw it coming.
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The Perfect Betrayal has a puzzling title for me, I’m not sure why Lauren North chose it! I didn’t feel it was based on a betrayal, but that may be me reading the book in the middle of a nasty cold....

 It’s a sad and harrowing story of love, loss, and the ravages of grief. The odds stacked against the situation were cruel and unbelievable. There were many twists to this book which kept me reading and wanting to know the truth behind it.  When it came I had guessed it a couple of chapters prior, but it is still shocking.  The book is well written, predominantly in the voice of the main character, along with snippets from her brother in law and her grief counsellor. 

I would recommend this book to my friends and family to read, and thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my review.
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I was so gripped to this book that I read it entirely within one evening! At the start of the story we find out that Tess is in hospital and her son Jamie is missing. From these very first pages I had so many questions about why her son was missing, what really happened to her husband who has passed away, and who can be trusted in these events?

Tess appears to be very vulnerable and completely out of control throughout the book. The reader can begin to understand how Tess is still considering the voice of her husband, Mark, to help guide her through the events she is experiencing. But with this feeling of being so lost, can she even trust herself?

Shelley has come to assist Tess as a grief counsellor, and this relationship becomes very informal and friendly very quickly. I had expected slightly more professionalism, but instead Shelley enters Tess's life more as a friend - which made me question what her real motives were.

We also meet Ian, Mark's brother whom is constantly on the scene seeking to support Tess with arranging his brother's finances. Under these circumstances the reader is drawn to become very suspicious of Ian quite quickly, and I never really warmed to him.

The different chapters made this read a very interesting one in that there are excerpts from some kind of session within a hospital between Tess and another person. Is this a police officer, a doctor? It is very unclear from the onset. But what I found strange was that during these times of distress, Tess's plea to find her son were never validated which gave me the impression that perhaps he was not missing after all and infact was safe and well. I even guessed that perhaps Tess played a part in his disappearance! 

The timeline leading up to 'Jamie's birthday' had me gripped to know what was going to happen.. the countdown was clearly very important - but why?

Then.. that final twist.. WOW!!! I did not see it coming, and for me this is the part I loved most about this book. I don't like to give away any spoilers, but all I can say is that I suddenly saw all the characters in a completely different light. I was somewhat humbled by the ending and even had a tear in my eye.

I was really taken in by this read, and feel like the twist just completely made it for me. I was left thinking about it for ages afterwards, and feeling somewhat guilty for the judgments I made about some of the characters. A very well deserved five star debut from this author!
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I read The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North in one sitting, finding the writer's style easy and the way she uses the countdown to Jamie's birthday to heighten the tension gripping. 
Lauren North tackles the subject of grief delicately and you can almost feel Tess's pain at suddenly losing her husband and wanting to fiercely guard her son from any further tragedies. 
With the right amount of heroes and villains, but not being sure which are which, The Perfect Betrayal is the perfect psychological thriller.
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I happened on this book by chance as much as anything.  Having the need for a new book, I happily cracked open the cover and dived in.

Boy am I glad that I did. Lauren North has crafted a fine tale, with hints of today laden with tales of before that keep the brain on its toes.  The book is not overly complicated to follow, but has the reader thinking they know the next twist and then sending us diving down the wrong rabbit hole.  The second seat on the airplane was a massive wrong guess by me; it is difficult to review the book without giving away the story and the ending, so I will not comment further on the content, other than to say I was probably so near the end before I thought I knew the ending that it didn't matter that I guessed one of the twists, as I still missed the obvious character ones that were still unrevealed.

My favourite psychological head-funk book for a long time.
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A chilling dark story about Tess, who is failing to cope following her husband Mark’s death in an aircraft accident.  Tess is lost in a foggy secluded world where nothing seems worthwhile any more, apart from her son Jamie, and is sinking into a deep bottomless pit of depression.  Made worse by Mark’s brother Ian telling her that Mark had borrowed money from him, and he wants it back.

She is befriended by Shelley whose bright and energetic personality brings a small degree of light into her life, and the story explores their developing friendship with her and Jamie, her son.
As the story progresses, strange events start to happen – Tess hears footsteps outside her secluded, dark country house at night-time, telephone ringing with no-one there, along with other threatening events, and she becomes deeply afraid. What is going on?  Is Ian responsible, Shelley, or someone else is collusion?

A chilling compulsive read, which had me gripped from beginning to end.  A terrifying thriller which had me on the edge of my seat, unable to put the book down. Characters are skillfully drawn and well rounded, without being overly sentimental.  I couldn’t have predicted the ending, it was definitely unexpected!  Highly recommended read.
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After the sudden death of her husband, Tess is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she'll do anything to protect him - but she's struggling to cope. When grief counsellor Shelley knocks on their door, everything changes. Shelley is beautiful, confident and takes control when Tess can't bear to face the outside world. But when questions arise over her husband's death and strange things start to happen, Tess begins to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe - but who can she trust?

The write up on this book promises a thriller of a read, sadly it wasn't. Whilst I found the book OK, it was repetitive and the characters irritated me. For me, it didn't live up to the synopsis.
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I enjoyed this book, it has suspense and twists. Who can Tess trust, Shelley or her brother in law.  The book has sadness, grief and relationships that human drama fans will love.  I didn’t see the twist at the end immediately but it slowly dawned on me - a good ending.
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Utterly heartbreaking but so brilliant. Beautiful written working through dealing with loss and loss. Thank you for writing this book. It will stay with me for a long time x
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In what is already proving a good year for debut crime novels, Lauren North has produced a gripping and highly readable story which tells of a woman whose husband was killed in a plane crash and how she struggles to cope with the aftermath while bringing up her son on her own.  For me the book was somewhat let down by the twist in the tale but it is enjoyable nonetheless.
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A heartbreaking read. A look at how our minds can help us cope with too much loss. Twists and turns and a duly poignant ending.
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An incredible and poignant story of how grief can overwhelm someone. 

Tess Clark has recently moved into her husband’s mother’s house in a secluded spot. She is struggling to adjust to her life away from her friends but has a happy marriage and an adored 7-year-old son Jamie. 

Her world is torn apart when her husband, Mark, is killed in a plane crash. He was on his way to a business meeting in Frankfurt but the pilot suffering from mental health problems decide to commit suicide by crashing the plane. 

The only thing that keeps Tess going is her son Jamie whose protection and happiness become Tess’ only objective in life. She is stumbling from day to day unable to deal with any tasks just managing to get Jamie too and from school each day when suddenly Shelley comes into her life. 

Shelley is a vibrant, confident, smart lady, who is also a grief counsellor. She takes Shelley under her wing, manages to make her go shopping, has coffee, take her son to the beach, simple things that Tess has stopped doing. However, Shelley is suffering from her own tragedy, her son Dylan had died of cancer at the age of 2, he would have been Jamie’s age now and slowly but surely Tess begins to think that she is planning to take Jamie away from her. 

Mark’s brother, Ian, is hassling Tess about sorting out Ian’s estate claiming that he is owed £100,000 which Mark had borrowed just before his death. She becomes paranoid about people following her and receiving nuisance telephone calls and is convinced that Ian and Shelley are working together. As she becomes more suspicious of everybody and everything a situation comes to a head in her kitchen with Ian and Shelley where Tess ends up being stabbed in the stomach although it is unclear who actually inflicted the wound. 

The book veers between the build-up of Tess’ paranoia and the conversations between her and Elliot Sadler in the hospital whom she is convinced is a detective. 

The ending of this book has not one but two twists that were just breathtaking and so sad, This book is beautifully written and an absolute page-turner. It is frightening how grief can affect a person’s life so much and the author really makes you feel a part of this poor lady’s life. I cannot recommend it too highly, a brilliant read. 


Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review
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