Thank you to Polly Grice for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and for an ARC of the book. All points of view are my own and not influenced in any way.
You are the jury.
When Jane Bell uncovered that her next-door neighbour planned to blow up their local primary school, she tried to get the police to listen to her. When they chose to do nothing, she took matters into her own hands.
Jane Bell saved the children. She is a hero. She stopped a terrorist attack. She murdered a man. Jane Bell committed a crime, and no matter what her reasons are surely she must face the legal repercussions of her actions.
Now several people follow Jane’s case, each with their own thoughts on what happened. Is Jane the hero or the villain? It’s up to you to decide.
If you read one domestic thriller this year then read this one. If you had two young children who attend a primary school, then find out your neighbour, James Foster, is going to blow that school up the very next day what would you do? Jane Bell has been trying to notify the authorities that her neighbour is making a bomb. But no one is listening, what do you do?
Jane has seen what James Foster is doing, but then one day she sees him scribbling drawings on a piece of paper outside the school her children attend, he is drawing plans. Not only has Jane reported his behaviour to the police and other agencies, but they aren’t interested until something happens. She also took her children out of school but was then threatened with being prosecuted for that.
The day before he plans to blow up the school she aims her car at him accelerating, as he is bringing his wheelie bin in, he is killed as he is pinned between her car and the wall behind him. Is this murder? She has saved almost 300 children from death. Should she be charged with murder or a defence charge.
The story is told from the points of view of Jane, her husband Neil, the Detective in charge of the case Bill, her Barrister Simon, the reporter Aneesa, as well as a member of the jury Mary. But you are part of the jury after listening to all the evidence how do you think you would vote Guilty or Not Guilty?.
This is a brilliant debut novel in this genre. It is gripping from start to finish. As the reader gradually learns the effect Jane’s actions have on people, some see her as a hero, some as a murderer. Can we take the law into our own hands? Could that lead to more people becoming vigilante’s? Jane is a very gentle character, she gets on with the small circle of people she knows. Her best friend Rachel is supportive. She likes most of her neighbours except of course James, although we learn when he first moved in she tried, but she knew something wasn’t right.
This book would make a brilliant book club read especially for discussions after everyone has finished reading. Learning the different responses, the Detective in charge didn’t want it to be a murder charge but his boss was the one who put forward that charge.
This isn’t just about Jane’s actions, we learn about James as well, his motivation, was he being used? what I enjoyed was seeing how some of the other characters grew, in some way, the trial affected them all. There are parts I just didn’t see coming which left me in tears. The premise is brilliant would you take one life to save hundreds? Because technically thats what Jane was doing she was saving a school full of young children and teachers, what James had planned would have killed the whole school.
Did Jane mean to kill James? Or was her plan just to injure him to stop what his plan was? This is an engrossing read with a great mixture of three dimensional, believable characters, most are likeable some not so, but then they are just doing there jobs, so it may be a little unfair to dislike some. I guess it depends which side of the fence you are sitting on.
I look forward to see what this author comes up with next, because this one definitely deserves ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SJ Ford is twenty-six years old and lives in the Cheshire countryside. She currently works in online marketing and writes part-time – gathering the quirky, emotional and problematic to feed her imagination and unleash her pen, She has a Golden Retriever
That she relishes going on adventures with, a horse that let’s her fly, and her favourite place is Cemes Bay on Anglesey. The Choice is SJ’s debut novel in this genre