Review: The Accusation by Wendy James

The Accusation by Wendy James book cover
* Copy courtesy of Harper Collins *

I can't believe this is the first time I've read any Wendy James. The Accusation by popular Australian author Wendy James was domestic noir meets psychological thriller and I really enjoyed it.

Suzannah Wells is an ex soapie star and now the local drama teacher at Enfield Wash, NSW. Ellie Canning is an 18 year old kidnapping survivor who is in the media spotlight after escaping her female captors. Suzannah is accused of the crime and the book drives the reader towards the truth. Is Suzannah guilty or innocent of the crime?

I've gotta be honest, I was constantly flipping from character to character and then back again, each time certain I'd worked out who was responsible for Ellie's kidnapping. And it's safe to say I won't be making a great detective anytime soon because I didn't guess who the perpetrator was, or their motivations for the crime.

I've been reading quite a few Australian authors this year and Wendy James is right up there with the best. Her writing style is polished and engaging, no doubt coming from having written and published seven books prior; although this is a stand alone.

The story is told from two character points of view, with excerpts of a later documentary of the case dotted between the chapters. There's a clever use of news reports and social media in The Accusation to ratchet up the tension as Suzannah's character is torn to shreds.

I later discovered in the Author’s Note that The Accusation is based on the real 18th Century English mystery known as the Canning Affair. This is a modern day re-telling of the mystery and after learning about it online, I gained a new appreciation for what I’d just read.

If you enjoy a thrilling 'whodunnit' without a murder, then The Accusation by Wendy James is for you. Lovers of domestic noir and psychological thrillers will also find plenty to keep the pages turning. Highly recommended, and you can read a FREE SAMPLE here.

My rating = ****1/2

Carpe Librum!

P.S. Is it just me, but does the cover art evoke a little of The Handmaid's Tale vibe?

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  1. I loved this too, I’ve only The Golden Child unread, everything else I’ve given 4 or 5 stars

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Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!