ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The Alibi Girl by CJ Skuse @HQstories #BlogTour
I’m reviewing The Alibi Girl by CJ Skuse today as part of the blog tour. I loved this book and although it’s my first by this author, it won’t be my last. My thanks to HQ for the place on the tour and the copy of the book for review purposes.
JOANNE HAYNES HAS A SECRET.
THAT IS NOT HER REAL NAME.
And there’s more. Her flat isn’t hers. Her cats aren’t hers. Even her hair isn’t really hers.
Nor is she any of the other women she pretends to be. Not the bestselling romance novelist who gets her morning snack from the doughnut van on the seafront. Nor the pregnant woman in the dental surgery. Nor the chemo patient in the supermarket for whom the cashier feels ever so sorry. They’re all just alibis.
In fact, the only thing that’s real about Joanne is that nobody can know who she really is.
But someone has got too close. It looks like her alibis have begun to run out….
The Alibi Girl is my first book by CJ Skuse but I’ve heard such good things about her previous books and both are on my pile of books to read. I get a sense that The Alibi Girl is a little different to those books but it’s certainly a fantastic read in every way.
It’s always difficult to review a book without giving away more than the blurb does. We know that Joanne Haynes is the Alibi Girl of the title. We know that’s not her real name and that she also makes up lots of other personas: novelist, doctor, mother. What we don’t know when the story begins is why. Why can’t she be her real self?
This is such a rollercoaster of a read. I loved Joanne. She’s full of dry wit and feistiness and yet underneath it all is a vulnerable little girl who just wants her life back. The author led me through Joanne’s life now, with tantalising glimpses at her past, slowly drip-feeding me facts to make up the whole story of what Joanne has been through. I was heartbroken for her at times.
I loved the unusual storyline, the constant ups and downs and the fact that it made me laugh out loud, yet also provided a very moving narrative. I’m even more keen now to read the author’s earlier books. I didn’t want to put this one down. It completely enthralled me
C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House) and MONSTER and THE DEVIANTS (Mira Ink). She has recently written the adult crime novels SWEETPEA and its sequel for HQ/HarperCollins. C.J. was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England and has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, lectures in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.
C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and graveyards. She hates hard-boiled eggs, going to the dentist and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas – she just didn’t get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Tom Hardy present her with the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.