I’m delighted to be hosting the final day of the blog tour today for Perfect Ten by Jacqueline Ward.
As much as I hate being ill, I was pretty darn pleased that whilst I was laid up on my sick-sofa this weekend, that I was in the scintillating company of Perfect Ten. It is so very addictive.
When Caroline Atkinson takes delivery of her former husband’s lost luggage one morning it is the catalyst she needs to seek the revenge she craves so much. Amongst the luggage is a holdall which contains a journal carefully detailing every affair and one night stand her husband has ever had. He even marks the women out of ten for their sexual performance. Robbed of her marriage, her children and her reputation during their toxic divorce, Caroline has nothing left to lose. Confronted with evidence of his betrayal, she determines that it is time to make him pay.
The novel is narrated in the first person by Caroline, and as a result the reader is able to witness first hand her mental state throughout the novel. It’s no surprise to discover that the author is a psychologist as the novel is as much about Caroline’s state of mind as it is about the revenge plan itself. It is truly a fascinating insight into one woman’s deepest, darkest thoughts. There are no holds barred, everything she thinks and feels is right there on the page with no apology. At first I found this to be very insular and almost claustrophobic. Caroline is very intensely focused on her ex husband to the point of almost obsession, and there were times where I questioned her sanity. But this is the beauty of the novel, it’s a true psychological thriller.
Very soon I was completely addicted to the novel and unwilling to put it down for any length of time. Caroline, although very intelligent is motivated by a deep rooted need for revenge on the man who tore her heart out. Her obsession is all encompassing and there are many punch the air moments where she betters her opponent. There is a tremendous amount of character development for Caroline throughout the novel, and I found this really compelling. Her revenge plan, although wickedly brilliant soon starts to awaken a new version of herself.
I found this novel to be fascinating on so many levels. Had my psychology A Level teacher been a more charismatic chap, I may have gone on to consider a degree in the subject as I really enjoy thinking about the motivations of the mind. In Perfect Ten, Jacqueline Ward has taken the classic scenario of a woman scorned, and added layers – many, many layers! No longer just about the revenge itself, the novel concerns itself with the motivation behind the desire, the emotions and the conflicts. It is a full on psychological shake down. I felt throughout the novel that having realised what true revenge was, Caroline emerged from her constricted chrysalis by it’s conclusion.
I really enjoyed the modernity of her revenge plan. The power of social media and its impact is a real theme throughout. There were times where I wanted to hide behind my hands and cringe, shout out ‘NOOOOOOO’, or cheer her on; her actions often counter rational thought and there were times I was almost breathless trying to keep up with her line of thought! My heart was racing during tense exchanges with the police and I was on the edge of my seat as she took her revenge so deliciously.
A super read with plenty of suspense and OMG moments along the way. #TeamCaro! Highly recommended.
Caroline Atkinson is powerless and angry. She has lost more than most – her marriage, her reputation, her children. Then one day, she receives an unusual delivery: lost luggage belonging to the very man who is responsible, her estranged husband Jack.
In a leather holdall, Caroline unearths a dark secret, one that finally confirms her worst suspicions. Jack has kept a detailed diary of all his affairs; every name, every meeting, every lie is recorded. He even marks the women out of ten.
Caroline decides it’s time to even the score. She will make this man pay, even if it means risking everything…
About the Author
Jacqueline Ward is a Chartered Psychologist and scientist working in high hazard safety. She holds a PhD which explored the stories we use in everyday life to construct our identities, and in 2013 received an MBE for services to vulnerable people. She lives in Oldham with her partner and their dog.
*I received a copy of Perfect Ten in exchange for an honest review.