Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce #BookReview #BlogTour

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems . . . 

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it. 

Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle. 

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up. 

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself. 

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing. 

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything . . . 

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Blood Orange today. Many thanks to Harriet Tyce, Wildfire and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.

Alison is a barrister and when she's given her first murder case to defend, it would seem as if her career's trajectory is most definitely on the up but it's almost immediately apparent that there seems to be a self-destructive streak within her which threatens to ruin everything she has. She initially isn't the most sympathetic of characters - she drinks far too much, is having an affair and regularly lets her little girl, Matilda down. It's clear she has allowed the heavy drinking culture of her profession to usurp what should really matter in her life and she appears set on a course which can only mean heartbreak for her family. Meanwhile, Madeleine, the woman Alison is due to represent in court doesn't seem to have much chance of avoiding a life sentence for the murder of her husband. When his lifeless body was discovered by their cleaner, she was next to him, covered in his blood and she admits that she stabbed him several times.
It's hard to say much more about the plot without giving anything away; Blood Orange is impossible to put down but difficult to describe - it's really one of those books which demands to be read rather than read about. The murder case turns out to be intriguing but it's actually a secondary storyline in the book which is really about Alison's life rapidly spinning out of control. As the novel progresses it becomes apparent that there are striking parallels between Madeleine and Alison with both hiding secrets behind their apparently successful facades. It's hard to comprehend just what Alison sees in Patrick and why she is willing to risk her marriage for a man who is patently a selfish womaniser who seems only interested in rough sex. In contrast, her husband, Carl dotes on their daughter but is at the end of his tether when Alison repeatedly embarrasses him with her drinking or forgets her responsibilities time and again.
It becomes gradually apparent through the course of the book however, that things aren't necessarily quite so straightforward. It's not obvious at first, just little hints that there is more to this story but like the orange which adorns the front cover, the layers are finally peeled away to reveal what lies underneath - and it's far from sweet. Reading Blood Orange feels almost voyeuristic but is a compelling guilty pleasure and I was unable to tear my eyes from the page as all the dark secrets are slowly exposed. Although Alison's problems lie at the heart of the novel, the scenes involving her work add a fascinating facet to this engrossing book and are unsurprisingly authentic given that Harriet Tyce was a criminal barrister for almost ten years.
Blood Orange is dark and intelligent domestic noir which features deeply flawed yet entirely believable characters and this nuanced read ensured I still felt empathetic towards some of them despite perhaps only Matilda being truly likeable; my heart ached for this little girl at times. Some of my suspicions were proved correct but that didn't matter because it's finding out how the truth will be unveiled which makes the book so impossible to put down  There were still plenty of surprises too and a conclusion which requires an almost immediate re-read of the prologue. It's hard to believe that Blood Orange is a debut, so accomplished is this superb thriller. I read the whole book in a day and can't wait to read more from Harriet Tyce in the future. Highly recommended.

Blood Orange is published by Wildfire and can be purchased from the following;
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository

Don't forget to check out what my fellow bloggers are saying about Blood Orange, details are below.

About the Author

Harriet Tyce grew up in Edinburgh and studied English at Oxford University before doing a law conversion course at City University. She practised as a criminal barrister in London for nearly a decade. She is currently doing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She lives in north London. Blood Orange is her debut novel.


  1. Massive thanks for this fabulous Blog Tour support Karen x


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