Cover Image: An Inconvenient Woman

An Inconvenient Woman

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Member Reviews

This book was absolutely amazing! Sucked me in from the very beginning all the way to the end. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
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Thank you to #NetGalley, the author and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for an honest review.  An Inconvenient Woman is a compelling psychological thriller that I read in one sitting.  It is the story of Claire Fontaine who believes that five years ago her ex-husband killed her daughter.  Now that ex-husband, Simon Miller, is engaged to Charlotte who has a daughter the same age as her own daughter was and Claire is worried that this girl might suffer the same fate as her daughter.  When Claire begins to stalk and harass him, Simon hires Sloan Wilson who used to work for the LAPD and left the department to become a "sin eater".  Also known as a fixer or a cleaner, a sin eater basically cleans up messes for rich or famous people.   From Simon's perspective, Claire is stalking him for no reason.  He tells Sloan that Claire is mentally unstable and that he is afraid of her and shows Sloan videos of Claire vandalizing his car and being arrested.  He says that she is sending him threatening messages and provides her with documentation, including a psychiatric report and a restraining order he had gotten against Claire.  Meanwhile, Claire is getting her own threatening messages.  Things are not what they appear to be and it is not clear who is telling the truth, but one thing is certain and that is that both Claire and Simon are keeping secrets from Sloan.  The true story, when it comes out, will shock you.  This author could be the next Gillian Flynn, her books are that good.  A great read and I highly recommend it.
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Thanks to W. W. Norton & Company I received and Advance Reading Copy of An Inconvenient Woman by Stéphanie Buelens. This is her debut novel and the first book from Scarlet. Fans of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Harlan Coben will love the twists and turns of An Inconvenient Woman.

Claire Fontaine receives an call from her ex-husband, Simon Miller. Simon is getting remarried and will gain a young stepdaughter as well but Claire will do everything to stop that from happening. Claire feels guilt for not protecting her own daughter and now has to live with those consequences. Claire is at her wit’s end because no one believes her.

To protect Charlotte and her daughter, Emma, Simon hires Sloan Wilson, a “sin eater” to stop Claire. Simon is convinced Claire is having a breakdown and shares this with Sloan who is good at “persuading” people.

Claire and Sloan narrate the story and each has her own baggage from the past that colors their present. One of them has an accurate view of the past and her father while the other one has lived her whole life with the wrong perception of reality. The question becomes who is right and who is deluded? How far will she be driven to prove she’s right?

Enjoy this psychological suspense debut from Stéphanie Buelens, it is a page turner. Best of all is the twists and turns make sense and are plausible which is not always true with psychological suspense novels.
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Wow, this book does not disappoint. Readers are introduced to a compelling, unputdownable mystery with an unexpected conclusion. Think Shirley Jackson in present day. Readers, as well as protagonists, will question the legitimacy of threats and the sanity of characters. Specifically, Claire's POV is such a spinning and obsessive swirl of intrusive thoughts it seems completely unreliable. Yet, it is such a real depiction of PTSD, grief, and victimization. 

Told from the prospective of two protagonists, this novel tells the story of Claire, who has accused her ex-husband of molesting her now deceased daughter, and Sloan, a sin-eater. Intriguing occupation? I thought so. As a sin-eater, Sloan uses skills acquired  as a cop to help make problems go away for those balancing on the edge of the law. When Claire's ex-husband hires Sloan to quiet accusations that could ruin his life, both women are drawn into an intense journey of discovery. 
Can't wait to read from this publisher and author!
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Claire is outraged and concerned when her ex-husband plans to marry a woman with a daughter the same age as her own daughter was when she married Simon. She blames Simon for her daughter's death and fears for the daughter of the woman Simon plans to marry.

Claire's anger and behavior after her daughter's death has led to her being labeled as unhinged, but she can't let that stop her from trying to stop Simon.

from description: "Sloane Wilson left the LAPD to work as a “sin eater,” a contractor for hire who specializes in cleaning up inconvenient situations—situations which, for whatever reason, are better handled outside the law."

When Simon hires Sloane to make his problem go away, she takes a personal dislike to Claire from Simon's description. She determines to befriend Claire, however, and through plans A, B, or C make Simon's problem disappear.

Although a little put off by the erroneous interpretation of the term "sin eater," I became involved with the way the novel played out and the secrets that came to light.

Historically, a sin eater was hired to take food and drink when someone died, symbolically taking on the deceased's sins. In the novel, Sloane interprets being a sin eater as a fixer who is paid to clean up a client's mess--I see the connection, but it is so opposed to the traditional idea, which is the idea of sacrificially taking on the sins of a deceased to ease their way into heaven. A fixer makes problems go away for convenience.

Read in April.  Blog review scheduled for Aug. 18.

NetGalley/ Penzler Productions
Mystery. Sept. 1, 2020. Print length: 288 pages.
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In this novel we follow two women. One is named Claire and the other is Sloane. The way the novel is structured is done well and everything is well paced. I found myself so invested in this novel and wanting to find out what happens to these two women and the storyline we are following. The twists and reveals were well done and the characterization was done well. I was hooked from the very beginning!
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Sloane Wilson is an ex LAPD officer who is now a fixer, or a sin eater, who takes care of situations that cops cant’t fix. Her latest assignment involves a woman named Claire Fontaine. Fontaine believes her ex husband killed their daughter years ago and got away with it. Now he’s moving in with a woman who has a teenage daughter of her own and she’ll do anything to stop him from taking another life.  As Sloane begins investigating the case, she’s unsure who to believe, The only thing that’s clear is that someone is lying….and going to kill again
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