Sunday 15 June 2014

Review ~ Who Are You? by Elizabeth Forbes.

Title: Who Are You?
Author: Elizabeth Forbes.
Publisher: Cutting Edge Press.
Genre: Thriller.
Release Date: June 26, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Alex, a career officer in an elite regiment, returns from Afghanistan a changed man. He has left the Army behind and is attempting to forge a civilian career as a security advisor. His wife, Juliet, is delighted. She, Alex and their son Ben now live in a well-appointed house in a leafy London suburb.

But all is not well. Juliet's research on the internet suggests that Alex is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but pride means that he will not seek professional help.

Finding solace in web forums, Juliet is offered the use of a cottage and is urged to remove Ben to a place of safety. After a lot of secretive planning and the financial support of Alex's mother who had suffered at the hands of her husband, Juliet and Ben escape the tyranny of their home with the hope of starting afresh...

Who Are You? was dark, twisted, compelling and an amazing read. Eliabeth Forbes’ intelligent writing made this an all-consuming novel, one which gets into your mind, messes with your emotions and if you’re of a nervous disposition like me, turns you into a bit of a wreck too. Which is all fantastic to read, just not if you’re hoping to get any sleep…

On Alex’s return home from the Army, his wife Juliet, along with son Ben, are shocked to find him a completely different man. Alex’s time serving as a soldier has had a heavy impact on him as he is now cruel and abusive and considered a threat to the safety of his wife and son. Alex’s controlling nature was unsettling but Juliet herself wasn’t short of damaged and messed up either.

Who Are You?’s dual narrative lets the author excel with some of the best characterisation I’ve ever read. A lot of the characters’ actions were scary and unnerving but the development was brilliant – it was never as simple as hating a character because we’re somehow made to feel for them, getting into their minds (as uncomfortable as that could be) and seeing the massive implications past events can have on someone’s life. Throughout all the warped episodes, I had to sympathise for Ben, so young and suffering from this nightmare.

Given the direction of the plot, maybe I shouldn’t have loved Who Are You? as much as I did but I know, based on this remarkable novel, I’ll read anything Elizabeth Forbes writes. It’s tense and chilling, each turn in events becoming more disturbing and the stunning writing creates a novel impossible not to be affected by. If you’re prepared to let this extraordinary novel take over your life, it’s a horrific yet completely worthwhile experience because Elizabeth Forbes has written this wonderfully.

Review also posted on Goodreads


  1. This sounds like a very impressive read. It's definitely interesting and I loved reading your review!

    1. I think it would be the kind of book you'd like! Thank you :)


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