Book Review: Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha Bell

What’s it about?

Alexandra Southwood has gone missing. Her friends, family and the police suspect she’s been murdered, but her husband Marc refuses to give up hope. He searches for any clue as to what has happened to his wife, gradually coming to the realisation that he didn’t know her at all.

My thoughts

This book is very good, but it is nigh on impossible to review it properly without giving away spoilers.

So let me say this: it is one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read in a long while. The plot is original and not some Girl on the Train rehash. I did see a particular something coming- there’s always a particular something so that’s hardly a spoiler- but I didn’t see all of the something.

It’s set in York, which probably aided my enjoyment. When Bell talks about Cliffords Tower or the Ouse, I could picture it easily because I live it. I did wonder whether someone who isn’t so familiar with York would quite understand all of the references, like to the York Red Boats (small boats you can hire on the Ouse in the summer) but I suppose her editor would’ve pulled those out if they were actually problematic.

The writing is good. I enjoyed the bits of art history, but I can imagine that they’d annoy other readers. I felt they added to the story and you gained understanding of the characters through the artists featured. There was the odd repeated phrase that niggled me- I’ve never heard “pressing old bruises” before- but it was on the whole good and kept me gripped.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, I definitely would. Tempted to go and re-read actually.

Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha Bell is published on 8th March 2018 by Michael Joseph, priced £12.99

I received an advance copy to review thanks to NetGalley.

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