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A Review: ‘A Double Life’ by Flynn Berry

A gripping, intense, stunningly written novel of psychological suspense from the award-winning author of Under the Harrow

Claire is a hardworking doctor leading a simple, quiet life in London. She is also the daughter of the most notorious murder suspect in the country, though no one knows it. 

Nearly thirty years ago, while Claire and her brother slept upstairs, a brutal crime was committed in her family’s townhouse. The next morning, her father’s car was found abandoned near the English Channel, with bloodstains on the front seat. Her mother insisted she’d seen him in the house that night, but his powerful, privileged friends maintained his innocence. The first lord accused of murder in more than a century, he has been missing ever since. 

When the police tell Claire they’ve found him, her carefully calibrated existence begins to fracture. She doesn’t know if she’s the daughter of a murderer or a wronged man, but Claire will soon learn how far she’ll go to finally find the truth.

Loosely inspired by one of the most notorious unsolved crimes of the 20th century – the Lord Lucan case – A Double Life is at once a riveting page-turner and a moving reflection on women and violence, trauma and memory, and class and privilege.


Length: 261 pages
Publisher: Viking
Publishing Date: July 31st 2018
Genre: Mystery | Thriller

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Excerpt

A Man comes around the bend on the path. I stop short when he appears. The heath has been quiet today, under dark snow clouds, and we’re alone on a path where the oak trees form a tunnel.

The man is wearing a hat and a wool overcoat with the collar turned up. When he stops to light a cigarette, I’m close enough to see his knuckles rising under his gloves, but his face is hidden by the brim of his hat.

The dog is somewhere behind me. I don’t call for him, I don’t want the man to hear. Sparrows fly over our heads to the oaks, drawn into the branches like filings to a magnet. His lighter won’t catch , and the metal rasps as he tries again.

Jasper brushes past me, and I reach for his collar but miss, almost losing my balance. The lighter flares and the man tips his head to hold the cigarette in the flame. Then he drops the lighter in his pocket and holds out his fist for the dog to smell. Jasper whines, and for the first time the man looks down the path at me.

It isn’t him. I call the dog, I apologize in a strained voice.


Flynn Berry is the author of A Double Life, which will be published in July 2018, and Under the Harrow, which won the Edgar Award for best first novel. Under the Harrow has been translated into sixteen languages and was optioned for television by Paramount. Flynn is a graduate of Brown University and the Michener Center, and was a Yaddo fellow.

Website: http://www.flynnberry.com
Twitter: flynnberry_


The Review

A Double LifeA Double Life by Flynn Berry
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Firstly a special thank you to Flynn Berry, Netgalley and Viking for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Man was I disappointed! I’m in no way saying this book was a bad one but there was little to no suspense whatsoever. Everything was pretty predictable and nothing really exciting happened until about the last 15% of the book. I know sometimes books take you without surprise and whisk you away on a magical ride then there are books that no matter what you just can’t get into it. This was the later obviously.

Nearly thirty years ago a brutal crime was committed in her family’s townhouse while she was upstairs. The next morning, her father’s car was found abandoned near the English Channel, with bloodstains on the front seat. Her mother insisted she’d seen him in the house that night, but his powerful, privileged friends maintained his innocence. The first lord accused of murder in more than a century, he has been missing ever since.

When the police tell Claire, now a doctor, they’ve found him, her carefully calibrated existence begins to fracture. She doesn’t know if she’s the daughter of a murderer or a wronged man, but Claire will soon learn how far she’ll go to finally find the truth.

Now, it was difficult for me to finish this book and I almost gave up on it as I have with very few books. But I kept going and the end I enjoyed although I foreshadowed it.

I will say the ending was a little surprising but nothing that had me shocked which is what I was expecting. Would I recommend this book? Sure, as long as you don’t have high expectations like I did for a suspense-packed thriller! However, there are so many positive reviews for this book so don’t let this review sway you. It might be perfect for you.

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