I have never read a Colleen Hoover novel until now. I follow her on social media because she is a freakin’ riot and because I have a slight friend crush combined with a wee touch of jealousy. I know of her books, and her break your heart only to put it back again love stories. I nearly pulled the trigger on Without Merit, but I didn’t. I read a sample of All Your Perfects, but I didn’t feel compelled to complete the novel. Then came Verity, a novel that brought Hoover back to her self-publishing roots and came with a disclaimer that it was NOT a typical Hoover novel – it was a romantic thriller. Color me intrigued. I read the sample and downloaded the novel the same night.
1 1) I loathe e-readers. I don’t use them.
2) I read Verityon my phone in one sitting.
This review will be kept short because thrillers can be easily spoiled in reviews, and I don’t wish to anger the masses.
Verity is a fast-paced, Gone-Girl-esque read. Struggling author Lowen Ashleigh is hired to complete the remaining books in Verity Crawford’s bestselling series. Verity writes thrillers from the point of view of the villain. (Ding. Ding. Ding.) She’s been injured in a car accident, but her publisher has been less than honest about the extent of her injuries. They need someone to finish the series because Verity will never write again, and her fans must not know. Due to a chance (and rather bloody) meeting with Verity’s husband Jeremy, a ready bond is formed between the two. He convinces her to take the gig, and he ensures she is properly compensated for her efforts. Lowen needs the money. She can’t say no.
Lowen expects to quickly go through Verity’s notes, hoping for material that will make finishing the already planned series a breeze. What she finds is a memoir of sorts, one that she can’t imagine Verity ever wanted anyone to read. What is contained in that manuscript could destroy the fragile bond that remained between Jeremy and his wife, and Lowen, quickly falling under his spell, is oh so tempted.
Told from Lowen’s POV with snippets of Verity’s writings woven in, this thriller is about obsession, trust and truth (and headboard biting sex). The reader quickly realizes that all is not right at the Crawford home, and all is not right in Lowen’s head. As for Verity, her name is telling enough. The novel shows us to what lengths we go for our own truths and fixations.
The lesson? Writers are unreliable narrators. Always.
As for me, I like dark and twisty Hoover.