It’s my stop on the blog tour today for this very seductive and sultry novel. The Seduction is published by Bloomsbury Publishing and was release June 11th.
Thank you to the publishers for my gorgeous hardback copy and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my invite onto the blog tour.
Beth lives by Camden Lock with her partner Sol and their daughter Fern. Life is peaceful, but Beth is troubled by increasing unease. It could be to do with her mother’s disappearance years ago. It could be her sense that Fern is keeping secrets from her.
So she goes to therapy. Dr Tamara Bywater is there to help her patients, and soon their sessions become the highlight of Beth’s week. But Beth is in over her head before she realises that Tamara might not be all she seems…
What if the person you trust the most turns out to be the greatest danger of all?
We follow our protagonist Beth; wife, mother and artist. She lives by Camden lock with husband Sol and daughter Fern who has just turned 13.
Plagued by guilt, anger and flashbacks of her mother, who left Beth and her father when Beth was 13 herself, she is already in a distressed state when we meet her. Worried that her own childhood experiences will damage her relationship with Fern, Beth has become over protective and an over thinker when it comes to her daughter. Talking to her husband Sol doesn’t help much, as he seems to just brush aside all concerns and suggests Beth see a therapist about her feelings in general.
Enter Dr Tamara Bywater. At first she seems competent and professional, soon spotting and discussing the topic of transference that is clearly taking place between client and patient from the very start.
Beth, unhappy in so many ways feels an attraction to Dr Bywater and soon believes she needs her in all situations of her life to tell her the right thing to do. Thinking of her constantly she imagines she sees her by the tube, by work and the canal.
We soon see things start to move quickly in a different direction as Tamara admits to feelings for Beth and they decide to meet as friends outside the therapy rooms. Something that is highly irregular and could get her struck off. As Beth becomes more and more intoxicated by Tamara, lying to husband who by now has started to ‘take notes!’ on Beth’s behaviour, we see this new and passionate affair turn into something controlling and possibly dangerous.
It’s hard to say any of the characters were likeable but that doesn’t make them characters that aren’t readable. Sol and his increasing distance, Fern and her behaviour, Beth utterly lost and Tamara controlling, teasing manner. Pulling Beth in, pushing her away and using all her powers on so many levels, playing Beth like some kind of puppet as she slides, like a drugged animal into Tamara’s seductive impulses.
Having never read this author before, it did take me a while to get use to her style of writing, particularly when it came to dialogue but her descriptive writing is memorising, with the heat and intoxication between them oozing from the page. The author uses the canal and Beth’s art to great affect in showing the reader her changing behaviour, and the tension, darkness and light within Beth and Tamara’s relationship is hypnotic. Both the sexual tension between them and the tension within the story line is deliciously dark.
I found this a real page turner, yet very unique read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joanna Briscoe is the author of five previous novels, including the bestselling Sleep With Me, which was adapted for ITV by Andrew Davies. She has been a columnist for the Independent and the Guardian, is a literary critic for the Guardian, and broadcasts regularly on Radio 4.