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The Crack Magazine


Blood Orange

Harriet Tyce, Wildfire

This debut novel has been billed as the ‘most heart-pounding thriller of 2019’ but, alas, it’s anything but. It concerns Alison, a forty-something barrister living in London with her husband and young daughter. Her career is on the up and up and she has just been given her first murder case to handle. Flies in the ointment come in the shape of an affair she is having with someone at work, and her husband, who is becoming increasingly annoyed by the amount of time Alison is spending away from home, as well as her excessive drinking. The drama is two-pronged: the murder case that Alison is working on, and the increasingly fraught domestic travails she becomes embroiled in. The trouble is neither of these strands really catches fire and the unlikeable characters are all routinely dull as concrete. Unforgivably, some of the sentence construction is appalling: the whole book could have done with a thoroughly good re-edit.