The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth
ebook, 537 pages
Published October 17th 2019 by Quercus Books
About the Book:
NOW: Living in her home in the countryside HELENA is a career woman without a job and a mother without a baby. She blames ASHLEY for destroying her life. But is what happened really Ashley's fault?
THEN: When Helena hires Ashley to work with her, she's startled but impressed by her fierce ambition. They form a dream team and Helena is proud -maybe this is the protégé she's always wanted to have? But soon Helena realises that nothing will stand in the way of Ashley's drive to get to the top. And when Helena discovers she is pregnant, she quickly realises how vulnerable her position is, with devastating consequences.
Appreciate what you have, before it turns into what you had .
The Rival is a thriller without murder. It doesn't need one. That doesn't mean it is without victims. There are crimes a'plenty. The characters are fully fleshed out and, to most of us, recognizable. The build up is slow and deliberate in the beginning, but around the midpoint picks up pace and before you know it you're being shuttled to an ending that will have you glued to the pages for the final chapters.
This is a psychological thriller with a simmering atmosphere of suspense. I loved how this book was told with chapters titled Now and Then and that it was from the two main characters points of view. I didn’t care much for ANY of the characters. They were all flawed and I didn’t root for one of them. In fact, I wanted them to all fall down. In this case I really liked that the book was full of unlikable protagonists.
Ms. Duckworth builds a menacing sense that bad things are going to happen and writes with a multilayered pen. There were many great twists and I was invested enough to keep reading until 3:00 am because I found the pace quick and the ending satisfying. Charlotte Duckworth is the kind of writer I suspect other writers thrive to emulate or at least equal. I strongly recommend The Rival and will soon be reading her second book, Unfollow Me, in hopes that it offers a similarly enjoyable experience.
Thank you NetGalley, Charlotte Duckworth, and Quercus Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.