An enjoyable tale of secrets, ambition and obsession.
Claire thinks she has everything. A beautiful house in the exclusive Sandbanks area of Dorset, a ten-year-old son she dotes on and a successful, if too often absent, husband, Max. Happy to play the role of the stay-at-home mum Claire gets involved with a local community choir and spends her time working on the final touches to their newly refurbished home as she looks after Julia, her mum who is staying with the family after suffering a mini-stroke.
Max is the ambitious owner of a successful leisure company who is conducting a passionate, secret affair with the scheming, Anabelle, the beautiful owner of a rival leisure-based business who is intent on keeping the secret of her dark past, away from Max.
Anabelle feels a desperate need to control the lives of everyone that comes into her orbit, including the love life of her company manager. Jealous to the point of obsession, Anabelle plans her wedding without consulting her, ‘fiancée’ Max, whilst plotting to be rid of. ‘Clingy,’ her nickname for Claire. Into the mix steps Adam, the strikingly handsome landscaper who has been brought in to clean up Claire’s extensive gardens that had been damaged during the house renovations. With Adam causing more than a flutter in the chest of both Claire and Julia, and with Anabelle’s interference reaching new heights, can Claire’s marriage survive the increased tensions?
As usual with a Joy Wood novel, the characters are both believable and consistent. The plot is solid and intriguing. I read this enthralling book over two nights, reluctant to put it down, even for much needed sleep. A well deserved five stars. More please. T. A. Belshaw