Who are you? Who were you? What made you turn into such a controlling bastard and made your wife wonder who are you? So many questions, answered in a gripping and at times hard to read way. Actually a very difficult read.
Alex, a controlling yet charming civilian following a career as an officer in an elite regiment, returns from Afghanistan to London, to Juliet his wife and Ben their young son. However all is not as it should be. Ravaged by his experiences at war his every move is cold, dramatic and calculating. A broken man and one that should be pitied or a broken man who needs help and support to help him? A bit of both. No one can dictate how anyone feels or know what anyone is really going through but no one should ever have to live in fear of a loved one or tread on egg shells.
Elizabeth Forbes leads the reader into the horror of coercive control and domestic violence that will both grip and frighten. Whilst the book is a page turner be warned it is also a harrowing read that will leave you in no doubt that Alex had deep rooted issues even before his tour of duty and that Juliet, whilst she loves her man, has always had in the back of her mind the nagging question “who are you?”.
With knowledge gleaned from various courses and having seen people deal with the devastating effects of domestic violence and coercive control I felt helpless and was therefore relieved that Juliet was garnering support from her online friends. She was given advice to go, to leave him, to run but was so scared of the consequences that she stayed, living in fear for her life and that of her son.
As lovely as it was, Juliet was foolish to take the kind offer from a stranger and I wanted to scream “Nooooooo don’t do that, don’t go anywhere where you will be even more vulnerable”. I was right. Which leads me to question again how well do you really know anyone and to ask just who are you?
Thank you Elizabeth Forbes. You know I won’t be able to meet anyone called Mrs Hunt without smirking!!
Thanks also to Cutting Edge Press for sending me a review copy.