Cover Image: The Perfect Betrayal

The Perfect Betrayal

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Member Reviews

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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As this book opens, Tess is in hospital following a violent incident at her son Jamie’s birthday celebration. Jamie is now missing and nobody seems to be able to tell her exactly what is going on. We then go back to the weeks leading up to the birthday, and discover that Tess is dealing with the sudden death of her husband, Mark, in a plane crash. As she tries to navigate through the fog of grief that engulfs her and Jamie, Tess meets Shelley, a grief counsellor who tries to help her through this horrific time. With Shelley’s support and care, Tess begins to make progress, but she is troubled by the strange behaviour of her brother in law, her strained relationship with 7-year-old Jamie, and an unsettling feeling of being watched and followed. As the situation becomes darker, Tess begins to question Shelley’s motives and uncover secrets in Mark’s life. 

It would be impossible to say more without risking spoilers, but this is a compelling read full of twists and turns - and it’s the first time in ages that I’ve read a book of this kind and not seen the biggest twists coming.
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Great book that centered around a brother in law and grief councillor. Who can you trust ? Neither of both ? Great thriller with a twist I didn't see coming
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I loved everything about this book! It consumed me from start to finish - a masterfully-woven domestic noir tale which piles on the tension. Consumed by grief after the death of her husband in a plane crash, Tess struggles to keep life normal for her young son, Jamie. Having recently moved into Mark's old family home, she's cut off from her old support network. When grief counsellor Shelley offers to help, Tess thinks she's found a friend but as events unfold she's forced to ask herself how well did she really knew her husband, is she being followed and is Jamie safe? The story's told in different viewpoints and with some transcripts from interviews while Tess is in hospital, which I found very effective. I'd highly recommend this to fans of Claire Douglas, Lucie Whitehouse and Louise Jensen
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Wow absolutely wow read this in two days  as I couldn't figure out what was happening and why it was I need to know I've told all my friends to look out when it's published this is one book youdont want to .miss I don't want to say much about the story line because I'm always worried I'll give the ending away so just read it I don't think you will be disappointed I certainly wasn't  would definitely recommend reading this!!
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Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book. I thought it was a bit hard to get into at the beginning. It was confusing a bit. But I’m so glad I kept going. This book had me hooked. It’s a very heartbreaking story. The characters and the storyline where absolutely brilliant. You think you know the ending and then something changes. I expected the ending, but at the same time I wished for different. Heartbreakingly brilliant book. Hard to put down but wanting to get to the end. Definately worth 5stars and more.
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Another twisty tale and it was a twist I was not prepared for. Characters were believable and story really tight and realistic. Enjoyed this a lot and thought it ended on quite a sinister note! Would recommend!
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A very compelling book, easy to read, but that said, almost ‘unputdownable’ , after the death of her husband Tess is finding it hard to cope, a new ‘friend’ and her brother in law, both have expectations of Tess. “What is it they want? Each page I am thinking that I have the story sorted, then the next I think something else. The end was quite a surprise (no spoilers). Read and enjoy.
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This book had me hooked from the get go. It continued to intrigue me all the way through. I felt at times I knew where the story was taking me but it twisted and turned in different directions and left me wanting to read later than I should to see where it landed next. The story has many levels and it was difficult to not to feel sad at times and if someone has gone through a situation like this it may probably help get perspective. A loved the book
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It's very difficult to review this book without revealing the story. What I will say is that I loved it! It had me hooked right from the beginning. I was really drawn to the main character, and in turn found myself disliking others, in protection of her I think. 
The ending just hit me right between the eyes, I did not see that coming & I am just more protective of Tess more than ever! 
A really good read, you find yourself thinking one thing & then you find out you were wrong all along. Stayed with me long after I had finished it. 
Highly recommend.
Thanks to Net Galley for this title.
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It took me one week to read this. I know many readers will demolish a book in one sitting but I don’t think I’ve ever done that in my life.  For me to finish a book in a week it has to be good – really good.

This wasn’t just good, it was amazing.  It left me with my mouth agape, jaw dropping, I just never saw that ending coming.

I thought it sounded really interesting from the precis but that was all I read.  Half way through and I saw a review of this book appear on Twitter but I wouldn’t read it, I didn’t want to know anything.  I wanted to savour every page without knowing anything at all except what I was reading.

It keeps you on the edge, at one point it made me physically jump and my heart lurch when something happened.  It’s that unnerving.  It is of course very emotional in places.  Tess is newly widowed and all the turmoil and the heartache and the immense sense of loss is all there and is very raw.  At the same time there are other more menacing things for Tess to deal with on top of her grief.

There are so many things I could say about this story, about Tess, her son Jamie and Shelley who becomes more than just a grief counsellor but a friend too but I don’t want to give anything away.  Suffice to say this is more than a psychological thriller.  It will keep you interested all the way through, you’ll be trying to work things out, who’s doing what and why but will you ever guess?  Read it and find out.
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A heart breaking story where you really aren't sure what is going on. You want to follow the story but something niggles at the back of your head that all isn't quite what it seems to be....

Great book to read!
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Read and reviewed in exchange for a free copy from NetGalley. I enjoyed this book, North writes well and keeps the story going with suspense and I felt it was plotted and paced well. The final twist was upsetting and the final pages filled with genuine emotion. I'd be interested to read more from this author.
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The Perfect Betrayal was a tale of two halves for me. It had some really good elements to it, but I think on the whole I found it just skirting the edges of plausibility; though I will confess that the ending probably makes up for any shortcomings. I did enjoy it don't get me wrong, it was a good easy read, which does I think engage the reader. My main area of concern though is just how far Tess was willing to trust Shelley. I get that she is grief-stricken, that Shelley helps her. but the moments of distrust that Tess had about her would have surely stopped her in her tracks. I don't know, maybe that's what Lauren North was aiming for when she wrote it? See, it's just too tricky to call for me. I know that if I suspected anyone of some of the things Tess imagines she did, she or he wouldn't get anywhere close to my child. Anyway, I'm going to park that thought up there and witter on some more!
Despite my misgivings I did like Tess, and I thought that Lauren North managed to convey Tess's grief well, that feeling that somehow the world should have stopped when her husband died, and the reality that life does still go on for those still alive. I, perhaps naturally, didn't warm to Shelley in quite the same way; I did feel sorry for her with her own grief, but it was difficult to feel anything more than distrust with the way she is written. Similarly Tess's brother-in-law Ian, this question surrounding money he claims he is owed again makes it difficult to warm to him; even if he did bring her dinner one time. The insecurity and danger Tess feels in general makes for an engaging read; particularly the over-protectiveness of her son Jamie, and the mysterious person she keeps feeling is watching her - all combine to create this sense of foreboding that runs through the story.
But the ending. Wow.
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I cried from being to end, a woman who has just lost her husband and is trying to get through her grief, when along comes her saviour or so she thinks.
Tess reliese on Shelley her counsellor and tells her everything, but does she?
Tess really doesn't know who to trust even her brother in law and family who can she turn to apart from her son Jamie?
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