I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish
Published by Simon and Schuster on Feb, 2, 2023
ISBN: 9781668022252
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Psychological, Women
Pages: 429
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
four stars - The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish

From the internationally bestselling author of The Other Passenger and The Heights comes a new explosive thriller about obsession and deadly secrets.
There’s the obvious story. And then there’s the truth.
Alex lives a comfortable life with his wife, Beth, in the leafy suburb of Silver Vale. Fine, so he’s not the most extroverted guy on the street, he prefers to keep himself to himself, but he’s a good husband and an easy-going neighbour.
That’s until Beth announces the creation of a nature trail on a local site that’s been disused for decades, and suddenly Alex is a changed man. Now he’s always watching. Questioning. Struggling to hide his dread...
As the landscapers get to work, a secret threatens to surface from years ago, back in Alex’s twenties when he got entangled with a seductive young woman called Marina, who threw both their lives into turmoil.
And who sparked a police hunt for a murder suspect that was never quite what it seemed.
It still isn’t.

The Only Suspect doesn’t let you breathe for one second. Hugely character driven that leads you through a maze of mystery with hidden traps that want, no need, to trip you up.

The Only Suspect is razor sharp in its ability to engage its reader in a fall from reality. Nothing gets me giddier than a crime fiction novel that requires the reader to use their brain and their wit to get to the conclusion. Even when I thought I had it all worked out…I was dead wrong, on every count. A crime novel, domestic in its nature and deadly in its outcome, The Only Suspect has me salivating for more novels written by Louise Candlish, she has a skill that isn’t easily replicated.

You know what they say – love makes the world go round, and for Rick he is just about willing to do anything for his love, Marina. After meeting her one summer’s afternoon whilst she temped in the same building as him, he knew he’d never be the same again. But he never quite anticipated just how disastrous his life would become after becoming embroiled in her personal problems. 1995 was a year he’d never forget, for all the wrong reasons. Candlish focuses heavily on relationships and the pull they have upon us. Is it only natural to ignore the red flags that any rational person would point out? Does love make us completely blind?

Marina has a difficult life. She’s married to Drew Stanley, a businessman specialising in flooring. A thick set, intense man that brokers no disagreement to what could happen to you if you interfere in his personal life. Marina states that he controls her in all aspects, from her working life to her family to what she is allowed to wear. She is completely miserable. She knows what rules to follow and sees no other way out – not until she meets and gets to know, dependable Rick. He cares deeply for her and wants to help her find a way to help her escape the tyranny of Drew – even saving a fund for her new life. If he really examined things though, would things seem amiss or is it merely the situation?

Alex, told in the present day is married to Beth. Their relationship is also fraught with difficulties. They’ve struggled to conceive a child and now the boat has well and truly sailed with Alex reaching his fiftieth birthday. He likes his privacy, doesn’t like to be paraded or have his picture taken, low key is his middle name. Things could get tricky though with the opening of the new path at the nature reserve being dug up. The scene of a grisly murder twenty years ago in which he’s connected, could his game of Jenga come tumbling down?

Death, domestic abuse, control, and deceit make this an impeccable crime thriller. Louise Candlish serves it with a helping of beautiful prose that hints at the threatening nature of its conclusion and other times hits you full on with the force of a guillotine. This is definitely a book that you’re going to want to switch off all devices, grab a comfy blanket and all the tea you can drink because when you start – you won’t want to stop.


image - The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish

Sunday Times bestselling author ​Louise Candlish grew up in the Midlands town of Northampton and moved to the capital to study English at University College London. She is the author of 16 novels, including her brand-new thriller The Only Suspect, set in 1995 and described by the Daily Mail as ‘a perfect mix of nostalgia and menace’. It is out now in hardback, ebook and audio.

Louise’s #1 bestseller Our House won the British Book Awards 2019 Crime & Thriller Book of the Year and is now a smash-hit 4-part ITV drama starring Martin Compston, Tuppence Middleton and Rupert Penry-Jones (view the full series on ITVX).

Louise’s latest paperback is The Heights, a twisty revenge thriller whose narrator, Ellen, has a strange fear of heights known as ‘high place phenomenon’. It is out now in paperback and has also been optioned for TV.

Louise lives in South London with her husband, teenage daughter and fox-red Labrador Bertie.

​Author photo by Neil Spence

Louise Candlish

four stars - The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish