No Escape by Hilary Norman

No Escape by Hilary Norman

‘All he was offering, he told them, was a way out.’
It took me a while to get into this novel: it opens with a number of different strands. First, a woman’s body is found. She’s been battered to death, and her husband (who has a history of violence) is arrested. In a second family, a little girl who has been illegally adopted, is afraid of her adoptive father. And then her adoptive mother is found dead. In the third family, Lizzie Piper, a well-known and successful writer of cookery books is married to Christopher, a successful surgeon. Lizzie and Christopher have three children and plenty of money. A perfect marriage, you might think.

Robin Allbeury is a wealthy lawyer. He offers to help women escape from their abusive marriages, and uses the services of a private investigator to help him help them. What is his motivation?

These various ingredients are brought together in a way which had me guessing (wrongly, in most cases) about some aspects. It’s hard to say more without introducing what would be major spoilers. While I didn’t care for aspects of the ending, that is no reflection on the writing, simply a personal preference.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Hilary Norman, and I’ll definitely be seeking out others. I like novels that challenge me to work hard to figure out the mystery. And in this case, I didn’t work it out until everything became clear.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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