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Friday, 7 August 2015

‘You think you know me’ by Clare Chase

Published by Choc Lit Lite,
3 Dec. 2014.
Kindle Edition.

When Anna Morris moves to London to pursue her career in journalism, she meets Max Conran at her friend Seb's art gallery. He is attractive yet somewhat shady, but she can't keep away from him. When Anna accepts a job at the gallery, Seb reveals that Max is actually Darrick Farron, an art investigator with a nefarious clientele who will stop and nothing to obtain the paintings they want. Torn, Anna follows Seb's advice and tries to cool it off with Darrick. But not for long. 

As their relationship develops she learns more, and understands less, about him. Why does he have a photo of Seb's dead ex-girlfriend Julia hidden in his flat? What's he doing with Seb's ex-wife? And what happened to the valuable artwork Julia owned, after she died? And, little by little, Anna finds herself drawn towards the biggest question of all: just how did Julia die?

This novel had a well-crafted denouement that kept me engaged and guessing the whole time. At times, the tension was almost palpable and I nearly jumped once when a loud noise disturbed my reading, so engrossed was I in the story. 

The author created sympathetic characters and established believable relationships between them. Anna was a credible heroine and a likeable one - struggling with the same career decisions and housemate issues as many other young Londoners. Darrick was a suitably mysterious and manly love interest, and the more intimate details of his relationship with Anna were cleverly glossed over in a way that left the reader in no doubt as to what was going on, but didn’t dwell on the details. I appreciated the nuanced linguistics as much as I appreciated the author’s focus on the plot. 

I was only sorry this was not part of a series. I'd like to see more from Clare Chase.
Reviewer: Joanna Kennedy

Clare Chase writes fast-paced romantic mysteries, using London and Cambridge as settings. Her influences include JD Robb, Janet Evanovich, Mary Stewart and Sue Grafton. Brought up in the Midlands, she went on to read English at London University, then worked in book and author promotion in venues as diverse as schools, pubs and prisons. More recently she’s exercised her creative writing muscles in the world of PR, and also worked for the University of Cambridge. Her current day job is at the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Her writing is inspired by what makes people tick, and how strong emotions can occasionally turn everyday incidents into the stuff of crime novels. It would be impossible not to mix these topics with romance and relationships; they’re central to life and drive all forms of drama.
When she’s not reading or writing, Clare enjoys drawing, cooking and trips to the Lake District. Closer to home she loves wandering round the pubs, restaurants and galleries of Cambridge where she lives with her husband and two teenage daughters.
You Think You Know Me is Clare’s debut novel. 

Joanna Kennedy studied French and German at university. She works in the aerospace industry and is a chartered marketer in the UK. She describes herself as a voracious reader, enjoying genres as varied as crime thrillers, historical fiction and autobiographies. Joanna lives in London. She is the daughter of crime thriller writer Leigh Russell.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this lovely review, Lizzie – and many thanks to Joanna too for taking the time to read You Think You Know Me. I very much appreciate it and I’m delighted the book went down well!