‘The Three Women’ – Valerie Keogh
How well do you know your friends?
When Beth, Megan and Joanne meet at university, they become inseparable friends who’d do anything for one another — even agreeing to keep what happens one shocking night a secret.
Now in their forties and outwardly successful, each of the three has dealt with what happened in their own way. But secrets and lies leave their mark.
When Megan decides to tell her fiancée the truth about that night, it threatens to ruin the lives of everyone around her.
But someone is prepared to do anything to stop that happening….
When you are presented with three women standing on the edge of a cliff, ready to end it all, at the very opening of a book… well, it would be difficult to resist being drawn in straight away. This evaluates my experience of this novel as I found I simply could not put the story down – I had to know what circumstances pulled three women into a suicide pact. What had possibly gone so wrong for them that the only answer was death?
Keogh expertly twists the narrative around three women – Megan, Beth and Joanne. We meet them at university and see how their friendship was founded. Only a small section of the novel is dedicated to this era before it jumps to present day. Now, with the women approaching their forties, we discover how one night shaped all of their lives. However, an admission by Megan causes their whole existence to come crashing down – tumbling like a delicate and precarious house of cards.
The theme of deceit is prevalent in this novel. When you think you have found out the final truth, Keogh adds in another layer of lies. I felt like a fly caught in a spider’s web: the more I struggled to find the truth, the deeper the lies went. I enjoyed how Keogh lures the reader into this false knowledge each time, especially as the newest revelations were surprisingly unexpected.
All three women are initially presented as rather likeable characters. However, as the novel develops, traits are exposed which shows they are weaker than what their close friends expected. I thought it was clever how Keogh had established this facade and it really tied in with the theme of deception. Nothing is what it seems, especially behind closed doors.
The final ending of the novel, (I’m talking about the Epilogue here) really stayed with me. Reading this book, I thought it was very good. However, the closing of the story pushed my enjoyment through the roof. I had not anticipated how Keogh would finish this story and, whilst it made sense after I had completed it, enjoyed the roller coaster I had experienced. I do appreciate being surprised in suspense novels and this final revelation made the story even more gripping afterwards.
A pacey, thrilling read, I delighted in the twists and turns of Keogh’s narrative. Who knew how three women could have become so immersed in deceit, that it completely and irrevocably destroys their lives? A lesson to be learnt for all: honesty really is the best policy.
Valerie Keogh was born in Dublin, qualified as a nurse and then studied English in University College Dublin gaining a BA in English and a Masters in American Literature. She moved to the UK several years ago where she lives with her husband, Robert, and cat, Fatty Arbuckle. She enjoys writing both crime and psychological thrillers.
When she’s not writing, Valerie loves to travel.
You can follow Valerie on Twitter: @ValerieKeogh1
Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/valeriekeoghnovels/
With thanks to Bloodhound books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.