Betray Her by Caroline England #BookReview #BlogTour

Best friends forever.

That’s the pact you made.

You’d do anything for her.

And you have.

She’s always had it all.

If you could take it for yourself . . . would you?

It's such a pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Betray Her today. Many thanks to Caroline England and Beth Wright from Little, Brown for inviting me and sending me a copy of the novel.

Friendships formed during the turbulent school years can be the most intense and that is certainly true for Jo and Kate who become best friends when they are thrust from their safe, loving homes and sent to boarding school at just eight years old. Many of us will have grown up reading Enid Blyton's books, dreaming of midnight feasts and tuck boxes but though Jo and Kate experience both, this frankly horrific school owes more to Dickens than to Blyton.
The short but unsettling prologue should warn readers that Betray Her will take a dark turn but this isn't a breathlessly fast-paced psychological thriller. Instead the darkness creeps in, almost insidiously until it has seeped into every aspect of this addictive, tantalising novel. The storyline shifts between the present day which finds Jo trying to come to terms with the loss of not just her husband but the dreams and plans they had made together, and the boarding school years, beginning with her first day when she and Kate meet and immediately strike up a friendship.
They come from very different backgrounds; Jo's family are from Barnsley, her father is from working class stock and his successful construction business allows him to provide what he believes is the best education for his children, whereas Kate - or Catherine Bayden-Jones, to give her her full name - is from old money. Jo is mocked for her accent and upbringing and even derided by the Matron as the 'ragamuffin from Barnsley' causing her to change who she is, adapting her speaking voice to assimilate with those around her. Kate should fit more naturally into their new world, following as she does her two older sisters. However, her weight and passive nature soon make her a target for the cruel bullies while Jo's fears cause her to stand by, rarely intervening. There are some disturbing revelations about their school years, particularly for Kate who was arguably even more altered by their experiences than Jo.
In the present day, the pair are still close - Kate and her husband, Tom have supported Jo since her terrible loss and Jo is the adoring godmother of their daughter, Alice. However, all is perhaps not as it seems and as we begin to see the consequences of what happened during those troubled years, there are hints that Jo isn't recalling everything that occurred back then. As distressing secrets come to light, Betray Her becomes progressively more chilling as the picture of a perfect friendship is gradually revised to expose the sinister truth. 
This is domestic noir at its best, Caroline England's complex, flawed characters are by turns irresistible and repellent and the ending is deliciously shocking. Betray Her artfully twists and turns and is a beautifully written, multi-layered tale of jealousy, manipulation and passion. Just brilliant!

Betray Her is published by Piatkus, purchasing links can be found here but please consider supporting independent bookstores whenever possible.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Caroline England was born and brought up in Yorkshire and studied Law at the University of Manchester. She was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer before leaving the law to bring up her three daughters and turning her hand to writing. Caroline is the author of The Wife’s Secret, previously called Beneath the Skin, and the top-ten ebook bestseller My Husband’s Lies. Betray Her is her third novel. She lives in Manchester with her family.