SJI Holliday has been reading crime fiction since she was able to hold a book. She writes short stories and her debut novel, Black Wood was published in spring 2015. You can find out more at www.sjiholliday.com.
The Judas Scar
Written by Amanda Jennings
Review by SJI Holliday
Will and Harmony's seemingly idyllic marriage is left shattered after she loses a baby she didn’t realise she wanted. While at a friend's party, she raises the subject of trying again, and Will’s reaction leaves her hurt and confused. Removing herself from the crowd, she encounters an enigmatic stranger whose advances she rejects, only to later discover that the handsome man is Will's childhood friend from boarding school, Luke. When Will, struggling to confront the culture of bullying that marred his childhood, reveals a secret too painful for her to bear, Harmony is left caught between the husband she loves and the promises made by an obsessive stranger...
When Harmony meets Luke at a friend’s party, a chain of events starts that will change her life, and that of everyone around her. Still reeling from the loss of her baby, Harmony and Will’s cosy-couple relationship hangs in the balance; and when it turns out that Luke is not such a stranger after all, she finds herself drawn to him as she realises that Will might not be enough for her anymore, especially after he reveals a deception that would be too much to cope with for the best of us, never mind the extremely fragile Harmony.
Harmony is a woman in turmoil, thrown into the arms of another man – who seems to know more about her husband than she does. But it soon becomes clear that Luke is harbouring a deep resentment, and will go to any lengths to get what he wants… including Harmony.
This is classic ‘domestic noir’. The characters will draw you in, and the twisty-turny tale will keep you guessing throughout. And the ending… it’s one that is as shocking as it is inevitable. I think I actually gasped.
Amanda Jennings’ second novel is a neatly woven tale of dark secrets and heart-breaking betrayal, this is a novel that will keep you up all night; and stay with you long after you've read the last page.