Alex, a career officer in an elite regiment, returns from Afghanistan a changed man. He has left the army behind and is attempting to forge a civilian career as a security advisor. His wife, Juliet, is delighted. She, Alex and their son, Ben, now live in a well-appointed house in a leafy London suburb.
But all is not well. Juliet's research on the internet suggests that Alex is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but pride means that he will not seek professional help.
Finding solace in web forums, Juliet is offered the use of a cottage and is urged to remove Ben to a place of safety. After a lot of secretive planning and the financial support of Alex's mother who had suffered at the hands of her husband, Juliet and Ben escape the tyranny of their home with the hope of starting afresh...
I have to admit to not having read The Nearest Thing to Crazy yet, so this is my introduction to the writing of this author. I didn't know what to expect but I was not disappointed. The twists and turns, the ups the downs, the high and lows, had me up very late a couple of nights the past week. Just to try and get the characters out of my head and go to sleep.
I finished reading this book this morning, the characters are running around in my mind, they are crawling on my skin, and the tension between the pages is palpable.
I am loathe to give anymore of the plot away as it has to be read to be understood. I guess that we are meant to hate Alex and what he does, but at first I have to admit to not liking Juliet very much either. The dual narrative works very well here in telling both sides of the story. By the end I didn't dislike anyone. The events of our past make us who we are today. Proof that the human condition can be frail.
I thought this was a truely accomplished piece of writing that portrays the emotional instability of two people, who are a couple very well indeed. It was as equally gripping as it was moving. I haven't read a book where the characters have totally absorbed me for a long while.
If you like a stonking good read that is going to grip you by the seat of your pants, and turn you upside down, then this one is for you. I actually cannot recommend it enough. My mind is still abuzz with all the things contained between those pages.
I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to Hatty at Cutting Edge Press for sending me a copy to review. Please check out their website as they have some interesting titles available.