Thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my spot on this blog tour, and to the author K.A.Masson for a copy of the paperback in exchange for my review, all opinions are my own.
Pounding on the door. My seven-year-old son shaking me awake. My head fuzzy with sleeping pills. The hallway flashing with blue light. This morning my life will change forever.
Alex Kendrew is juggling single parenthood, work and dating; with a wild, impetuous streak that’s hard to keep in check, she struggles to find a balance and feels perpetually guilty for the choices she makes.
Alex begins a passionate affair when an old flame gets in touch. But one morning, the police arrest her for his attempted murder. Someone is framing her; can she prove her innocence as the evidence mounts against her?
Alex Kendrew is a single mum raising her seven year old son alone, mainly because the father suffers from depression and tends not to be too reliable. But Alex wants a partner, someone she can share her life with, but she doesn’t seem to be that good at picking her men. She works as a freelance photographer keeping her busy at times. She loves Ned deeply, but still has a slightly impetuous side which could land her in trouble.
I was hooked pretty quickly to the story line starting with the prologue, where we see the police hammering on Alex’s front door and she is arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Clearly stunned and confused Alex is desperate to make sure her son Ned is looked after. The book then jumps to part one which goes back four years and shows Alex’s dating life as she battles the dating sites. Some dates less disastrous than others. But one of those dates goes really well and she really falls for Mal, they seem to hit it off, they love the same music and just seem to connect, despite the fact they only meet a couple of times she has these strong feelings for him, but then he ghosts her, but why? She eventually moves on, back to the dating sites. But it’s at a college reunion where she meets Adrian Evans, romance blossoms and eventually things start progressing, but is he as trustworthy as she believes, is he as nice as he initially seems?
In part two, which is now two years from the current time Adrian and Alex had been living together for a year. Things are beginning to change, not for the better. As Alex makes some discoveries about Adrian she realises it’s time to get out, she needs to move back to her old home. It’s then that Mal crops back into her life. All the old feelings start to come back, could this finally be their chance of being together?
I liked the plot line running through this debut novel, if you have ever been on dating websites you will be able to relate to some of the encounters Alex has, although at times I found her a little bit too promiscuous (but that’s my opinion alone) some of the sex was fairly detailed. The story did highlight some of the risks of the dating game, my only criticism is that I felt some of that side of the story went on a little too long. Where it didn’t need to. The final part of the book was Alex’s arrest for the attempted murder of Mal. Her fighting to prove she didn’t do it, couldn’t have done it, as she paces the police cell, wracking her brains as to who would do this to her, who would set her up and why? Also desperately wanting to know her son was safe and being looked after. The police seeming convinced she is guilty.
The characters are all good, relatable and believable, the struggles Alex faces when trying to juggle work and motherhood, the criticism she has from some of her friends as to how she is living her life, and how she is raising her son, felt real. It’s not easy juggling all these things. As any single parent will know.
I whizzed through the book, despite it being longer than some books , I was hooked from the beginning, I did guess the ending. But this is definitely a writer I will be watching out for in the future. This is a well crafted and intelligent thriller, a great domestic noir. I give it 4⭐️ out of 5. Highly recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
K.A. Masson lives in London with her teenage son and black cat Slinky, she has worked in graphic design for over 20 years, bringing to life the words of others. She began writing Alter Ego almost by accident. Emailing Fabre Academy on a day when someone had just pulled out of their ‘Start Your Novel in a Week’ course. Without that stroke of luck, she may never have got further than the first few chapters. She has always liked books with a Psychological element; My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurer, Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and the Dublin Murder series by Tana French being among her favourite books. She is fascinated by the crazy things that normal people do, when pushed by anger, fear, jealousy, and hate. She is an avid runner, and loves the cinema, photography and art.
You can find out more about her on her website; https://www.kamassonwriter.com/