I am delighted to share my review for How To Play Dead by Jacqueline Ward. This is another book that I read before Christmas and am just trying to get caught up with.
Anyway, let me show you what it is all about…
She’s watching over them. And he’s watching her…
Ria Taylor is everything to everyone. Wife and mother, the centre of her family. And the manager of a refuge for women whose partners have driven them out of their own homes.
But one night, with her husband away, Ria receives a terrifyingly sinister message. Someone is watching her. Someone who seems to know everything about her. She knows what she should do – seek help, just like she tells her clients to. But Ria is the help. As events escalate, and terror takes hold, Ria must decide whether to run or hide…
This is the story that centres around Ria who manages a refuge for women known as SafeMe. She is often confronted by angry husbands and boyfriends and is great at giving out advice, but this is advice she does not follow when she herself is the target of malicious calls and texts.
There is also a second story-line with this book, it comes in the form of a diary entries from Tanya. She is keeping a diary of abuse and control from her partner, while the abusive relationship provides a link to the main theme of the story, there is also something more. This is revealed later in Tanya’s story.
This is a tough book to read at times as the author takes the reader into a world of abusive relationships, manipulation, control and isolation. There is mention at the end of the book about the author using womens actual experiences and also talking to those involved in refuges and this adds a believable factor to the story.
The author has incorporated many angles into the story and not just the obvious ones of control, violence and manipulation. There are mentions of watching women be strong for their children, victims not speaking due to lack of trust, guilt and mortality rates. While these may on first glance look to be very tough subjects, the author has done a great job of highlighting and incorporating them into her story.
There are changes that slowly happen to the two main characters, and it was a very subtle and slow change that gradually gained momentum. As the story started to develop further I had a couple of ideas about how this story was going to pan out. Well, I was way off the mark and the author took a route I had not expected.
This is a gritty and a story that does have an impact. It has a thriller feel to it as well as a psychological aspect. A powerful and well written book that I would definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx