Review: The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister

I hope everyone has had the most wonderful Christmas, I had a very lovely festive day filled with turkey, gifts and rum! Now it’s over, I just want to throw the tree back up in the attic, get my living room back and get back to normality! I managed to squeeze in some ‘leave me alone to read’ time, after food and before I fell asleep for a nap at 5pm…. The book I finished? Yes, you’ve guessed it clever clogs, it was The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister. If you’ve read my Top 15 Reads of 2018 you’ll know that GM’s Anything You Do Say was in the 15, if not you can see why (and the other brilliant reads included) here!

Just a day after I released my top 15 the lovely Michael J Comms sent the best invite to my inbox, to read and review Gillian McAllister’s next upcoming thriller The Evidence Against you. It was one of the books I was so excited about reading in 2019 and I was unbelievably thrilled to be a lucky reader who got the chance to read before publication! Yes, I screeched! Christmas wishes do come true!untitled.png

The Evidence Against You is the 4th psychological thriller from Gillian McAllister that is due to be published in paperback and e-book format on the 18th of April 2019.

Anyway, I read it IMMEDIATELY and what a read! You can always rely on GM to deliver a thriller in such a twisty and quite poetic fashion, I always try and guess the ending before the ending; several times through this read I thought I knew how the storyline was going to go, I was so wrong! Before I go any further, here’s the blurb (thanks Amazon!)

“It’s the day her father will be released from jail. Izzy English has every reason to feel conflicted – he’s the man who gave her a childhood filled with happy memories. But he has also just served seventeen years for the murder of her mother.

Now, Izzy’s father sends her a letter. He wants to talk, to defend himself against each piece of evidence from his trial. But should she give him the benefit of the doubt? Or is her father guilty as charged, and luring her into a trap?”

Now I have your attention, I’ll give you a little nibble of the storyline without giving away any spoilers!

Izzy English was like any other 19 year old girl, she had parents who she loved! Alex (her mum) was a chef at her own restaurant while Gabriel (her dad) was a odd – jobs kind of guy with an artistic streak. Unexpectantly, on the 31st October 1999, her mother goes missing only to turn up dead and her father convicted of her murder. Fast forward 17 years and Gabe is released from prison on probation. Izzy has moved on with her life, still grieving the loss of both parents (Gabe may have been in prison but she still lost him!) The day of release, Gabe reaches out with a letter proclaiming his innocence, he wants to meet with Izzy to defend himself with his version of events. Will she hear him out? Or has she already made up her mind about his perceived guilt?

Firstly, I want to thank Gillian for another thrilling masterpiece, I love an absorbing and compulsive read and this read definitely delivered! What I find with GM’s work is that she has the ability to describe something that would be so small and mundane in such a poetic way that places you in that situation / place. For example;

“The evidence against him has surrounded her like smoke; she’s breathed it in even as she’s tried to ignore it.”

I think that is a great way to describe the absorption of information, rather than saying it just as I have (I hope you get my point!)

The storyline is well written and panned out. You’re transported to life before the disappearance and murder of Alex English. This creates the foundational backbone of the story in which you see how Alex and Gabe interact with one another within the confinements of marriage; this contributes towards the imaginary that Gabe murdered Alex. Also, I enjoyed how the storyline flicked into the past and showed the same events from both Izzy and Gabe’s point of view. It makes you question everything and nothing at all! It shows how someone’s view of an event can be truly different from another’s, but how do you decide what version is the correct one?

I love the way GM writes because the little details she includes helps build the characters in my mind to the point that I am left with the biggest book hangover because these people’s lives mean something to me! These people are real! Bookworms know what I mean! The engagement of characters feel real and not forced, I think this shows the extent to which Gillian carefully plans her characters and storyline. Apparently she uses a self – invented ‘box method’ during the planning stage, which evidently works so well!

Taking you back to a previous point, I didn’t have a clue how the book was going to end, it was unpredictable and twisty, which I love! This is a thriller that you should be watching out for in 2019! GM will never disappoint you, I am super excited for her fifth book!

I have recently begun reading the acknowledgements section of the books I read, because they are great! It is wonderful that Gillian has gone to such efforts to make sure her storyline holds some authenticity, especially when it comes to the law and prison life. (I also ‘aw-ed’ at her acknowledgement to her partner!)

When you read this book, I hope that you love it as much as I did! But whatever you’re reading this Christmas

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