Sunday, 20 August 2017

Over My Shoulder - Patricia Dixon

Over My Shoulder is a dark and deeply disturbing story about domestic abuse which won't be for everyone, but it's one that I couldn't get enough of so I'm not sure what that says about me!

What starts out as a seemingly hearts and flowers tale of girl meets boy quickly descends into a gripping and thought-provoking one of manipulation that took me on an unforgettable journey.

Freya is an average girl working and living in Manchester in the 1990's. She enjoys her job, has friends and is happy with her boyfriend Kane comes into her work one day and Freya takes a real shine to him, he's good looking, attentive and owns his own business. So when Kane starts to engineer ways for their paths to cross Freya soon dumps her boyfriend and starts spending time with Kane.

What Freya doesn't know about Kane is that he has a dark, manipulative side and its not long before she starts to notice this, little comments about her physical appearance, what she's wearing and what she's eating. It's clear that Freya isn't happy but is she brave or strong enough to leave Kane?

Patricia Dixon has taken a difficult subject and constructed a hard hitting but totally believable tale that's written with empathy. I was rooting for Freya and hoping that she could get away from Kane and his unscrupulous ways. He is the embodiment of evil and I can honestly say that I despised him with a passion which is a credit to Patricia's writing as it takes a lot for me to truly loathe a character. This is an atmospheric book and one that had my heart racing at times as I became more and more horrified at the depths that Kane would go to to control Freya. There's no graphic descriptions of violence but the threat is there and knowing that this is a situation that affects many women (and men) makes it more horrifying.

Over My Shoulder is a captivating novel and one that I would highly recommend to all fans of psychological and domestic noir thrillers.

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