Source: Review copy
Publication: 8th August 2019 from Raven Books
“Like DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES meets KILLING EVE”
It starts as a game at a book group one night. Never Have I Ever… done something I shouldn’t.
But Amy Whey has done something she shouldn’t. And Roux, the glamorous newcomer to Amy’s suburban neighbourhood, knows exactly what that is.
Roux promises she will go away – if Amy plays by her rules.
But Amy isn’t prepared to lose everything. She’s going to fight back, and in this escalating game of cat and mouse, there can be only one winner.
I read this in one straight sitting. I had to keep going to know what happened in the end and I wasn’t prepared to wait to find out.
Amy Whey is loving her life. She’s the epitome of a middle class mum. She lives in suburbia with her steadfast if unexciting husband Davis, their new son, Oliver and Davis’ daughter and her step-daughter, Maddy. Amy teaches diving at the local school but is on maternity leave.
Her best friend Charlotte lives nearby and together they have a group of friends who get together at Amy’s house for a regular Book Club.
When we meet Amy it is Book Club night and she is looking forward to an evening with the girls. Then her world changes. A newcomer to the area, a single mother, renting a house locally arrives and asks to join the club. And just like that, it as if the Garden of Eden has been infiltrated by the poisonous snake.
Roux is slinky, dangerous and attractive. She has a certain something that makes men want her and women envy her. And she has an agenda. That agenda is Amy. Because Amy has secrets and Roux is going to make her pay to keep them quiet.
Told entirely from Amy’s perspective, Never Have I Ever is a fast paced thriller that takes two strong characters, both women, and pits them against each other in a battle of wills where only one can be the victor.
Jackson’s writing is spot on. Pacy, biting, and wholly character driven, she writes characters that get inside your head and whose actions you can’t predict but you can certainly understand.
This is sharp, focussed and intelligent prose that takes you in directions you didn’t know existed and thrills you all along the way.
In a fight for everything she holds dear, Amy must prove herself to be a stronger adversary than Roux, and it could cost her everything to do that. Caught between a rock and a hard place, she needs to pin that snake down and get rid of its poison.
Jackson’s plot is terrific; original and compelling it had me engrossed and I had no idea how it was going to end, though I guessed it would be explosive and goodness me, wasn’t it just!
Verdict: A terrific, exciting, thrill of a read that you won’t be able to put down.
Joshilyn Jackson is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist. You can check out her previous eight novels and other work here. Joshilyn’s books have been translated into a dozen languages, have won SIBA’s Novel of the Year award, have three times been #1 Book Sense Pick, have twice won Georgia Author of the Year awards, have three times been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, and have been a finalist for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.
Photo credit: Wes Browning