literature, Review

Helene Fermont, ‘His Guilty Secret’ (review)

I am lucky enough to be part of Hélene Fermont’s Blog tour for her new book, His Guilty Secret, which will be out on the 27th November. Being sent His Guilty Secret last month was such a pleasure as I’d never before come across the author and I wouldn’t say it’s the kind of genre I would typically go for; certainly, though, it’s made me want to broaden my horizons.

Hélene Fermont is an author born into an Anglo-Swedish family, who claims her ‘writing is inspired by Nordic or Scandinavian literature with strong characterisation and morally complex elements.’ She has two other books- Because Of You and We Never Said Goodbye- making His Guilty Secret the third!

Synopsis

Secrets & Lies Are Dangerous

When Jacques’s body is discovered in a hotel room his wife, Patricia, suspects he has been hiding something from her.

Why was he found naked and who is the woman that visited his grave on the day of the funeral? Significantly, who is the unnamed beneficiary Jacques left a large sum of money to in his will and what is the reason her best friend, also Jacques’s sister, Coco, refuses to tell her what he confided to her?

Struggling to find out the truth, Patricia visits Malmö where her twin sister Jasmine lives and is married to her ex boyfriend. But the sisters relationship is toxic and when a family member dies shortly after, an old secret is revealed that shines a light on an event that took place on their tenth birthday.

As one revelation after another is revealed, Patricia is yet to discover her husband’s biggest secret and what ultimately cost him his life.
His Guilty Secret is an unafraid examination of the tangled bonds between siblings, the lengths we go to in protecting our wrongdoings, and the enduring psychological effects this has on the innocent…and the not so innocent.


Review

His guilty secret is a story you never quite expect… you never know what to expect but are always anticipating some new form of drama.

The writing has you not quite knowing who to side with; with more characters being introduced with their own secrets and insights, you find yourself in a love/hate relationship with most characters, but mostly find yourself totally in love with Fermont’s writing and characterisation.

This characterisation is only aided by her Scandinavian influence. Never have I seen the traumas Patricia faces written in such a way, and for sure, it has you gripped.

I found the movement of settings (London, Paris, and Mälmo) really interesting as the cultural changes really bring out different aspects of the different characters. I also found it interesting as I’ve grown up in London and been to Paris many-a-time (it’s one of my favourite cities for sure) but Mälmo is a place I’m unfamiliar with so it was a real eye opener; it gave an insight into where the author grew up and how it may have influenced her writing.

I also find it intriguing that there is a strong psychological aspect to Fermont’s writing; she has past claimed that this aspect has been influenced by events in her own life (though it is fiction and there is no actual link between the story and her own). This aspect has such a positive impact on the characters and story’s development.

I found myself totally gripped to Hélene Fermont’s His Guilty Secret within the first few pages, and couldn’t find myself putting the book down. I was desperate to know who had what other secrets, presents, and pasta each character- even seemingly innocent- had.

The book is beautifully written and has me longing to get my hands on her other books as soon as possible!

I definitely think all of you should read His Guilty Secret even if it’s not necessarily your genre. It wasn’t mind, but I couldn’t help but find it a great read.

Love always,

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