Review Blog

Jul 27 2015

Second Life by S.J Watson

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Text, 2015. ISBN 9781922079251
(Age: Adult) Recommended. S.J. Watson is the author of the best seller Before I Go To Sleep and he likes to put a twist in his novels that leaves the reader gasping in surprise and scrambling back through the novel to look for the clues missed in the first reading. His latest novel Second Life is a psychological thriller that centres on Julia and her relationships with her husband, son and sister.
At the beginning of the novel Julia learns that Kate has been murdered in an alleyway in Paris and that the murder is not solved. Despite this, Julia (the main character and narrator) does not endear herself to the reader. It is difficult to resist judging her thoughts and actions and as her life begins to spiral out of control and the reader begins to experience the chaos that addiction brings to the life of an addict. The justifications Julia gives for her actions are revealing of her past addictions and obsessions, and in some way explain the almost placid response of her husband, Hugh, to her increasingly odd behaviour.
This is a story of addiction - to alcohol, drugs and sex. The writing is compelling as it portrays the double life Julia leads as she begins to unravel the mystery of her sister's death and becomes embroiled in the world of online dating and virtual sex. As the book trailer artistically shows, there is the possibility that Julia will lose it all - her family, her friends and her self-respect.
This is a book best suited to be read by adults.
Linda Guthrie

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