Things have been a little quiet on the blog front lately as I've been super busy at work doing lots of on-call shifts and trying to get my end-of-year appraisal sorted. But now most of that's out of the way, the sun is shining and I have a week off to enjoy with some good books. And while I haven't been blogging, I've certainly been reading plenty, so I have a few reviews for you coming up this week. It's good to be back!
Let's start with a nice easy read that would be perfect to zip through in a few days sitting in the sunshine. It's a rare beast - a psychological thriller that actually manages to be quite fun to read, with a really good sense of humour.
Siobhan is having a bit of a difficult time of things. Her relationship has just come to an unhappy end and she has been struggling to write her 'difficult second novel' for what seems like ages. She hopes that taking a position as tutor of a creative writing class at the local college will give her something new to get enthused about, but even that turns out to be a bit of a damp squib when only six students turn up for the first session. Things go from bad to worse when one of the students, Alex, develops an unhealthy obsession with Siobhan and begins pursuing her and showering her with ill-chosen gifts. He's convinced that this stalking is the best way to display the true depth of his love for his teacher.
Then, about halfway through the book Alex meets someone new, a kind and pretty blonde who loves him back. He throws himself into a fresh, healthy relationship, and Siobhan gets rid of the stalker who has been tormenting her for weeks. Seems like a win-win situation, right? But Voss & Edwards cleverly turn the whole story on its head with a really great twist. It's difficult to say exactly how without spoilers and I am loath to ruin anybody's potential enjoyment by giving too much away. Suffice it to say, the plot takes an unexpected direction and both the main characters are shown in a completely different light.
Apart from the twisted plot, I found that this book's great strength was its humour. I think I've written on here before that as thrillers go, I find stalkers particularly chilling to read about. Something about them just leaves me with a cold heaviness in the bottom of my stomach. But Killing Cupid is done with a really light touch and there were several sinister moments that made me chuckle, despite the dark subject matter.
I believe this was the first book that Voss & Edwards wrote in partnership, and they have published a few more since. The plot of Killing Cupid lends itself particularly well to a writing duo (the chapters alternate between Alex and Siobhan's points of view). I can't imagine how they make this work elsewhere, but their other books seem to have been well-received so I'm definitely interested in reading more.